The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says there have been eight confirmed cases of salmonella in the province since mid-November linked to the consumption of imported cantaloupes sold under the label “Malichita.”
In a statement, the BCCDC says the eight cases involved a rare strain of salmonella, and the cases cover people ranging in age from those less than a year to 68 years old, living in the Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health regions.
The centre says that public health investigation of the cases has confirmed the link to the cantaloupes, which were sold from Oct. 11 to Nov. 14 in Alberta, B.C., New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, P.E.I., Quebec and possibly other provinces and territories.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had initially recalled the cantaloupes on Nov. 1 before updating its recall notice to include B.C. on Nov. 14.
Salmonella infections in BC have been linked to imported cantaloupes sold under the label “Malichita.” These cantaloupes should be discarded and not consumed. Learn more: <a href=”https://t.co/qIohVjBE6d”>https://t.co/qIohVjBE6d</a> <a href=”https://t.co/X70vIuvZaf”>pic.twitter.com/X70vIuvZaf</a>
“Genetic sequencing of the salmonella bacteria shows a link between some of the B.C. cases, the strain of salmonella found in the cantaloupes that were recalled, and a cluster of cases in the U.S.,” reads a statement from the BCCDC.
“BCCDC is collaborating with B.C.’s regional health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to continue to investigate the outbreak.”
British Columbians are being told to discard Malichita cantaloupes that were sold from Oct. 11 to Nov. 14 as well as any other cantaloupes if their origin is unclear.
The BCCDC says most people with salmonella poisoning will recover on their own within a week, but anyone with more serious symptoms should call 811 or their local health-care provider.
Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, abdominal pain and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting.