State officials are warning consumers to avoid cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana after at least three Minnesotans fell ill from salmonella poisoning.
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed that three people -- two over age 70, the other a child -- were sickened by a strain of salmonella that has been linked to a multi-state outbreak. All three said they had eaten cantaloupe the week before they fell ill between July 18 and July 26.
These are the first cases in Minnesota that have been tied to an outbreak that has caused two deaths and sickened an estimated 150 people nationwide, including 14 in Indiana and 50 in Kentucky.
In Minnesota, two of the patients live in the Twin Cities while the third is from outside the metro area, the Health Department said Friday.
Officials said the apparently tainted cantaloupe "likely came from southwestern Indiana." One Indiana farm initiated a voluntary recall and stopped harvesting cantaloupe after some of the melons tested positive for salmonella.
Symptoms of salmonella illness include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working with other federal and state officials to identify where the tainted cantaloupes were distributed. In the meantime, they're advising consumers to check the stickers on melons to see if they were grown in southwestern Indiana, or ask the store to identify the source.