The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and regional health authorities are investigating an ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to Malichita cantaloupes. Eight confirmed cases of a rare Salmonella strain have been reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, and Island Health regions since mid-November. On November 14, 2023, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning to British Columbians, expanding a previous recall issued on November 1, 2023.
British Columbians are advised to discard any Malichita cantaloupes purchased between October 11 and November 14, 2023, as well as any whole or pre-cut cantaloupes of unknown origin.
The majority of cases in B.C. have been associated with the Salmonella soahanina bacteria. Genetic sequencing demonstrates a direct link between some B.C. cases and the strain found in the recalled cantaloupes. The BCCDC is collaborating with regional health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the CFIA to conduct a thorough investigation into the outbreak.
In light of the ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to Malichita cantaloupes, consumers are urged to prioritize their health and safety by adhering to the recall instructions. Swift action, including checking and disposing of affected products, is essential to prevent the further spread of this dangerous bacteria. Stay informed and follow the guidance provided by health authorities to protect yourself and your community from potential harm. Consumers should take the following precautions to reduce the likelihood of contracting Salmonella from Malichita cantaloupes:
- Do not consume recalled products: Avoid eating, serving, using, selling, or distributing the affected cantaloupes.
- Dispose of recalled products: Safely discard them or return them to the place of purchase.
- Contact your retailer: If you are unsure if you purchased a recalled cantaloupe, get in touch with your retailer for guidance.
If you suspect that you became ill from consuming a recalled Malichita cantaloupe, contact your healthcare provider promptly.
Salmonella contamination may appear obvious when smelling or tasting food. While healthy individuals may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at risk of severe and sometimes fatal infections. Long-term complications, including severe arthritis, can also occur.
If you fell ill after consuming a Malichita cantaloupe, contact Slater Vecchio LLP as you may be entitled to compensation.