Cantaloupes Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

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This Food Safety Infosheet covers a 2012 outbreak of salmonella that was linked to cantaloupes. Cantaloupes should always be scrubbed under running water prior to slicing to avoid bacteria being transferred from the outside to the meat of the fruit.


  • Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.
  • Ask suppliers about food safety risk reduction practices including how they manage water, cleaning and sanitation and staff.
  • When washing the outside of a cantaloupe, vigorously use a scrub brush under running water to remove any easy-to-get-to bacteria.
  • Don’t wash multiple cantaloupes at once by soaking in a sink. This could lead to pathogen transfer from one fruit to another.

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