Tainted Cantaloupe Sickens 17 in Illinois

By Rachel Otwell
August 20, 2012

A salmonella outbreak is showing up in Illinois.

Seventeen cases have been identified in Illinois, while 14 have surfaced in Indiana. 

Tainted cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana is the suspected source of the outbreak that has so far affected over 140 people from 20 states.   In Illinois, eight of the people are hospitalized.

Symptoms of the illness include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.  Cases go back as far as July 7th.  Sabrina Miller with the Illinois Department of Public Health says anyone who has cantaloupe should inspect it.

"Usually there will be sticker on the fruit and it will tell you where it was grown," she said.  "If your sticker says southwestern Indiana, you're going to want to discard it immediately. However, if it doesn't and it indicates that the cantaloupe is grown in another area of the United States, it is absolutely safe to eat."

Miller says if there is no sticker, the cantaloupe should be discarded as a safety precaution.

She says an investigation into the salmonella outbreak is on-going.  Authorities believe the outbreak stems from one southwestern Indiana farm.  Two people have died from the illness in Kentucky.  

Indiana’s Department of Health says Kentucky is also investigating retailers and other points along the distribution chain.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio