The Doctors discuss the risk of eating precut melon. Dozens of people were sent to the hospital as a result of a recent multistate salmonella outbreak occurring in variety packs of precut melons.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says this all makes sense if you think about it. Theoretically, if the salmonella is on the shell of a melon, once the melon gets cut, the bacteria can get into the melon and then is literally marinating there. You don’t know how long ago the melon was cut, where it was cut, who cut it and if the knife was contaminated! Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes that this is a pretty rare occurrence. Nonetheless, it’s important to be aware of food outbreaks.
Dr. Travis says he does still eat precut fruit but advises viewers to look at the preparation date, and if the fruit seems a bit soft and you’re wary, it’s better to throw it out. To be more cautious, buy the full melon but still keep in mind how many people may have touched it. Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra says nine million foodborne illnesses occurred in the U.S. in the last year so it is a big concern. However, The Doctors still want you to eat your fruits and vegetables!
The Doctors did test three melons from three different stores and fecal matter was found on all of them, most likely from livestock. Gross! There are ways to keep those melons clean though. Place the melon in a plastic fruit and vegetable bag from the grocery store and clean the melon right when you get home. Dr. Batra says theoretically, you are supposed to wash off any counters where the cut melon is and then store the pieces in individual bags.
The risk is relatively low but food awareness is so important!