Illnesses associated with Malichita, Rudy brand cantaloupes continue: Health Canada

Illnesses associated with Malichita, Rudy brand cantaloupes continue: Health Canada

Health Canada says the number of people developing illnesses from eating contaminated cantaloupes continues to grow.

The agency has issued four recalls for cantaloupes since Nov. 1. Initially the recall was only for Malichita brand cantaloupes, then the recall expanded to include Ruby brand cantaloupes on Nov. 24.

The recall has also been expanded to include anything that may have been prepared alongside the contaminated cantaloupes, including other fruit like honeydew, pineapple, watermelon and various fruit trays.

Up until Dec. 22, there have been 164 lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella Soahanina, Sundsvall and Oranienburg illness. Quebec has had the most with 111 illnesses, followed by Ontario with 21, B.C. with 18, Alberta and Nova Scotia with four each and Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick with two each.

Of those, 61 people have been hospitalized and seven people have died.

More possible illnesses are under investigation.

Of the confirmed illnesses, 36 per cent have been children younger than five years old, 45 per cent were adults older than 65 and 52 per cent were women.

“If you are unable to verify the brand of cantaloupe, or if your produce is part of the CFIA recalls, it is recommended to throw it out,” Health Canada says in a notice on its website.

“This advice applies to individuals, as well as retailers, distributors, manufacturers, food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and facilities such as hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement residences, assisted living facilities and daycares, across Canada.”

Symptoms of exposure to Salmonella bacteria typically start six to 72 hours after the exposure and last for four to seven days.

The symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • abdominal cramps


Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!