Officials say contaminated melons are associated with at least two deaths, and responsible for sickening 50 Kentuckians and 14 Hoosiers. Consumers are being advised to throw away any cantaloupes purchased from July 7 th to present -- a warning that some produce farmers say is too broad.
"We haven't had any complaints. We were tested. Our cantaloupes were tested by the health department, so I think that's a bit extreme to say don't buy any," says Laura Ritter, whose family owns Ritter Farms in Owensville, Ind.
Ritter and several other produce farmers tell Eyewitness News they hope health officials close-in on the Salmonella source soon, rather than labeling the entire region contaminated. Health officials say they are working to locate the source of the contamination.
The Indiana State Department of Health says most people infected with Salmonella show symptoms 12 to 72 hours after being infected. Those symptoms typically include of diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Symptoms from the illness last around four to seven days. ISDH says most people recover from Salmonella without treatment, but some people require hospitalization from severe diarrhea. Elderly people, babies, and those with low immune systems are most likely to suffer severe illness after being infected with Salmonella.