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J Infect Dis. 1999 Oct;180(4):1361-4.

An outbreak of Salmonella serogroup Saphra due to cantaloupes from Mexico.

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Disease Investigations Section, DISB, DCDC, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.


An outbreak of Salmonella serogroup Saphra (S. saphra) infections was studied by laboratory-based surveillance, case-control and trace-back studies, and a survey of cantaloupe preparation practices. Twenty-four patients with S. saphra infections had illness onsets between 23 February and 15 May 1997; 75% were </=6 years old; 23% were hospitalized. Case patients were more likely than controls to have consumed cantaloupe (88% vs. 45%; matched odds ratio [MOR], 15. 5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-139) and precut cantaloupe (59% vs. 19%; MOR, 14.5; 95% CI, 1.6-128). The trace-back study identified 1 growing region in Mexico as the source of cantaloupes for 95% of the patients who ate cantaloupes. Only 17% of case patients washed cantaloupes before cutting them. This outbreak is another example of gastrointestinal disease in the United States associated with imported contaminated produce. Consumers and retailers should wash cantaloupes before cutting them; there should be international efforts to ensure food safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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