Officials at the Minnesota Department of Health are warning consumers about cantaloupes contaminated with salmonella.
Minnesota is among several states where people have gotten sick. The health department reports that two people in the Twin Cities and one in greater Minnesota fell ill in July after eating the fruit. They were not hospitalized and have recovered.
A southwestern Indiana farm voluntarily recalled its cantaloupes after some of their crop tested positive for the same type of salmonella found in the Minnesota cases. Officials are still searching for the origin of the contaminated fruit and where it was distributed, said Ben Miller of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
"It can be difficult to trace fresh produce because it often doesn't have a label or we don't understand how that product is coded in terms of lot codes," Miller said. "It can be somewhat difficult to rapidly trace that through the supply chain and identify everywhere it may be for sale."
Even though the contamination is found on the outside of the fruit, for now, Minnesota health officials say consumers should not eat cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana.
"From a consumer standpoint, you know you think about a cantaloupe, it can be a rough surface, it can be a surface that's hard to clean and when you introduce a knife into that surface, there's always the possibility you can drive the bacteria or organism into the fruit itself," Miller said. "That's how you're seeing it's possible to get it from the outside to the inside of the fruit."