Pre-cut fruit bought at Fred Meyer, QFC linked to salmonella outbreak

Slices of watermelon.

OLYMPIA — Health officials are encouraging people who bought pre-cut fruit at stores in Washington and Oregon to throw it out, after the fruit was linked to a salmonella outbreak.

On Friday, the Washington State Department of Health announced a salmonella outbreak involving pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or mixes containing the two fruits.

People who purchased pre-cut fruits on or about Oct. 25 up to Dec. 1 from QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers and Central Market in Washington and Oregon are encouraged to not eat it and throw it away.

Health department officials say 18 people from Washington and two from Oregon have been diagnosed with Salmonella after eating pre-cut fruit. Officials are trying to determine the source of the tainted fruit, including where it was cut and packaged.

Lab results identified Salmonella Newport as the cause of the sickness, officials said. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. People experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

Infants, young children, the elderly and pregnant women are especially susceptible to the salmonella bacteria.

Officials with QFC released the following statement.

In response to the State of Washington Health Department’s advisory regarding Salmonella, we have removed all pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes containing watermelon or cantaloupe from our stores in the states of Washington and Oregon.

We are asking customers to carefully check their refrigerators for any product meeting this description and purchased between October 25 and December 1. Any pre-cut product meeting this description should not be consumed and should be returned to your local Fred Meyer or QFC store for a full refund.

Our highest priority is our customer’s safety and the safety of our food. We will continue to work closely with state and federal health and food safety officials to further their investigation to determine the source of this outbreak.