The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) continues monitor the Salmonella outbreak linked to the Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupes.
In an effort to protect the most vulnerable members of our community and lessen locally acquired illness, public health inspectors from the Environmental Health Team have contacted all retirement homes, long-term care facilities, and licensed childcare centres so they are aware of the recall. Staff have also contacted local grocery and convenience stores to ensure the affected products were removed from the shelves.
As of December 7, 2023, there have been 129 confirmed Salmonella infections linked to this outbreak across the country. The Ontario Ministry of Health has released that of the 17 cases in Ontario, 45 percent of the cases have been with persons aged 65 years and older, with one-third being children five years and younger.
Symptoms typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to the Salmonella bacteria and can include the following: cramps, nausea, vomiting, chills, headache, and bloody stool. Those infected with the Salmonella bacteria can spread it to others up to several weeks after becoming infected. Older adults, younger children, people who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk for more serious illnesses.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has provided the following recommendations to the public:
- Do not eat, serve, use, sell or distribute Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe, any products made with Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe or any recalled produce.
- Check to see if you have Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe, any products made with the cantaloupe, or any recalled produce stored at home or in your freezer. If you do, throw them out and wash your hands.
- 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.
- Clean and sanitize all surfaces and storage areas that Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe or any products made with recalled produce may have come in contact with, including countertops, containers, utensils, freezers and refrigerators.
- If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not cook food for other people
More information can be found on the Public Health Notice issued by the CFIA.