Six deaths now reported in cantaloupe salmonella outbreak

Six deaths now reported in cantaloupe salmonella outbreak
Cantaloupe is pictured in this file photo.

Six people have now died in a salmonella outbreak linked to Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupes sold in at least nine provinces.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting one more death linked to the outbreak, and says 153 related cases have been confirmed, with more under investigation.

The agency says there have been 103 confirmed cases in Quebec, 20 in Ontario, 17 in British Columbia, four in Nova Scotia, three in Alberta and two each in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

READ MORE: 7 people on Vancouver Island reported illnesses linked to salmonella from cantaloupe

It says people became sick between mid-October and late November, and 53 have been hospitalized.

The agency says 44 per cent of those who became ill were aged 65 and older, while 35 per cent were children five and younger.

Consumers are being warned not to buy, eat or sell Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe. The agency says any brands of the fruit that can’t be verified should be thrown out.

It issued food recall warnings three times in November for Malichita cantaloupes sold between Oct. 11 and Nov. 14.

On Nov. 24, it updated its warning to include Rudy brand cantaloupes sold between Oct. 10 and Nov. 24.

The agency says the recalled products were distributed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and possibly other provinces and territories.

It says additional secondary recalls have been issued for products that were made using recalled cantaloupes and for produce items that were processed alongside recalled cantaloupes, including other fruit such as honeydew, pineapple, watermelon and various fruit trays.

On Friday, Mexico’s Health Department ordered the temporary closure of a melon-packing plant implicated in salmonella infections that killed multiple people in Canada and the United States.

The department did not name the company involved, not did it say what violations were found at the plant in the northern border state of Sonora. It said testing was being done to find the source of the contamination.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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