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Salmonella Outbreak Reaches 10 States — Are You at Risk?

A salmonella outbreak has sickened 117 people across 10 states, according to a Food Safety Alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration believe the source of the outbreak is contaminated pre-cut melon packaged at Caito Foods LLC in Illinois.

The company voluntarily recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit medley products containing one of the melons, which were distributed to 10 different states. The recalled products were packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers and distributed to:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin

More specifically, the contaminated melon was sold at Kroger under the Renaissance Food Group label and the Boar’s Head Private Label; at Target under the Garden Highway label; at Trader Joe’s under the Trader Joe’s label; at Walmart under a Freshness Guaranteed label; and at Amazon/Whole Foods under the Whole Foods Market label.

Ohio residents are among those most affected by the outbreak, reporting 31 cases of salmonella-related illnesses. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning usually begin 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated product. They can last four to seven days and include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

Aside from purchasing your food from high-quality, small-scale sources, the best way to protect yourself from a foodborne infection is to strengthen your immune system. This is ideally done through daily lifestyle choices that support your overall health, such as:

  • Avoiding sugar — especially fructose, as well as grains and processed food, and eating plenty of organic raw foods.
  • Getting plenty of deep, restorative sleep
  • Finding a way to diffuse the stress life throws at you
  • Incorporating plenty of regular exercise each week
  • Optimizing your vitamin D through sun exposure, or supplementation, if needed
  • Taking a high-quality probiotic, which will help populate your gastrointestinal tract with GOOD bacteria — your best defense against bad bacteria like Salmonella

Most causes of foodborne illness can be treated at home, but if your case is severe, seek medical treatment. Be sure to stay hydrated while you rest and recover.