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FDA: Indiana cantaloupe farm is source of salmonella outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says a southwestern Indiana cantaloupe farm is the source of at least some of a salmonella outbreak that has hit 21 states and killed two Kentucky residents.

Speaking Tuesday, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said that testing conducted on cantaloupes from the Indiana farm shows salmonella strains identical to those identified at Chamberlain Farms in Owensville, Indiana.

Ms. Burgess noted that the FDA will continue to screen potential sources of the salmonella outbreak, saying the FDA is already conducting tests on a number of sites.

“Just because we’ve identified this as one source, things just don’t stop here. We’re still assessing the full scope of this,” she said.

The FDA has already issued a recall of the tainted cantaloupe, warning consumers who purchase the fruit should check the FDA website to determine whether the recall is currently in effect in certain regions. Records available currently indicate that the cantaloupe was initially shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin although further shipment was likely. The FDA urges consumers in any state who are buying or have recently bought cantaloupe to ask their retailers if the cantaloupe was grown on Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.