December 1 update: The Public Health Agency has posted an update on the outbreak of Salmonella linked to Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupes. More products have also been recalled due to Salmonella risk. Review the latest information:
November 22 update
: A number of fruit products have been added to the recall notice due to risk of contamination with Salmonella. Discard these recalled products and do not consume them.
For a full list of recalled products, review the Canadian Food Inspection Agency list of recalls:
The outbreak of Salmonella infections has been expanded to include additional regions of Canada. For the latest information on this outbreak, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada:
Original notice – November 15, 2023: The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and regional health authorities are alerting the public of an ongoing Salmonella outbreak that has been linked to imported cantaloupes sold under the label “Malichita”. These cantaloupes should be disposed of and not consumed.
To date, there have been eight confirmed cases of a rare strain of Salmonella in British Columbia (B.C.) since mid-November, among people aged zero to 68 living in the Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health regions. The illness symptoms associated with this outbreak are typical of Salmonella infection, which includes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Public health investigation of the cases shows a link to recalled cantaloupes
in Canada and the United States. On November 14, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency updated a recall notice sent out on November 1 to include B.C.
British Columbians are advised to discard and not consume Malichita cantaloupes that were sold from October 11 to November 14, 2023. If you have whole or pre-cut cantaloupes in your home and are unsure of their origin, discard them as a precaution.
Most illnesses detected to date in B.C. were caused by the Salmonella soahanina bacteria (sometimes referred to as Salmonella sundsvall in other jurisdictions). Genetic sequencing of the Salmonella bacteria shows a link between some of the B.C. cases and the strain of Salmonella found in the cantaloupes that were recalled. 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.
Most people with Salmonella
will recover on their own within seven days. If you suspect you have a foodborne illness and have questions about your illness, you can consult HealthLinkBC
or call 8-1-1 for more information. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, your symptoms persist, or if you are immunocompromised, contact a health care provider or call 8-1-1.
- Salmonella infection causes symptoms including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that develop six to 72 hours after consumption and usually lasts four to seven days.
- Most people do not need antibiotics and recover without treatment. Children under five years of age and adults over 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
- If you are experiencing severe symptoms, your symptoms persist, or if you are immunocompromised, contact a health care provider or call 8-1-1.
- Discard and do not consume any packaged or individually labelled Malichita cantaloupes or cantaloupes of an unknown origin.
- Foods contaminated by Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.
- Wash your hands and cooking surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after preparing food.
- If you feel unwell, and especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, do not cook or prepare food for other people.
The BC Centre for Disease Control, a part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides public health leadership through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance, and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities. The BCCDC also provides health promotion and prevention services to reduce the burden of chronic disease, preventable injury and environmental health risks. For more, visit www.bccdc.ca or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC. The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) provides specialized health care services and programs to communities across British Columbia, the territories of many distinct First Nations. We are grateful to all the First Nations who have cared for and nurtured this land for all time, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlil̓w̓ətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations on whose unceded and ancestral territory our head office is located. We work in partnership with other B.C. health authorities and the provincial government to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us @PHSAofBC.
BC Centre for Disease Control
PHSA Media line: 778.867.7472