Nearly 100 people infected by fruit linked to North Brunswick distributor


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NORTH BRUNSWICK – As of Dec. 30, a total of 96 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Javiana have been reported from 11 states, linked to a company located in North Brunswick.

Evidence allegedly indicates that cut fruit including honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes produced by Tailor Cut Produce on Ridgewood Avenue is a likely source of this outbreak, according to information provided by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention on Jan. 2.

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On Dec. 7, Tailor Cut Produce recalled its Fruit Luau cut fruit mix as well as cut honeydew melon, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, according to the statement.

These products were not sold directly to consumers in grocery stores, but were sold for use in institutional food service establishments such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and hotels, according to the statement. The recalled fruit products were distributed between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1.

Illnesses were reported from Nov. 15 to Dec. 10. Of 41 ill people with information available, 27 were hospitalized for their Salmonella infection. No deaths have been reported, according to the statement.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between a person becoming ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 3-4 weeks, according to the statement.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the statement. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days, and most people recover without treatment. In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body. Children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

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