Salmonella, tomatoes and cantaloupes

Good news: There have been no Canadian salmonella illnesses linked to the U.S. outbreak from certain fresh Roma and red-round

Good news: There have been no Canadian salmonella illnesses linked to the U.S. outbreak from certain fresh Roma and red-round tomatoes, according to The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). There have been no illnesses resulting from KingFisher-brand cantaloupes either, however, they have been distributed in Ontario and should be discarded, as they may be contaminated.

Salmonella can trigger diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps for 12–72 hours after infection, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. In severe cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

To be on the safe side, Health Canada and the CDC recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Avoid purchasing bruised or damaged produce and discard any that appear spoiled.
  • Keep produce that will be consumed raw separate from raw meats, raw seafood, and raw produce items.
  • Before and after handling produce wash your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds, with warm water and soap.
  • Before cutting fresh produce, wash it thoroughly with potable running water before you prepare and eat it.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot water and soap when switching between types of food products.

Personally, I’ve become a compulsive cantaloupe washer! How about you? It’s really starting to seem like there’s merit in eating local, simply from the point of view that you know where it came from, if there is a recall…

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