Michigan woman among dozens sickened in multi-state Salmonella outbreak, files lawsuit

Ashley Hollar of Belleville, Michigan says she's done buying food like pre-cut watermelon after what happened to her in May.

The wife and mother of 2 purchased pre-cut watermelon from Walmart in Van Buren Township and says she ended up getting Salmonella from it.

"I woke up in the middle of the night on Friday, May 25th, in severe pain," says Hollar.

She didn't know why she felt so sick, but later found out she tested positive for Salmonella. She was put on antibiotics, but days later she got sick again. At the time, she didn't know what the source was, but says  it turned out to be the pre-cut watermelon she got from Walmart.

Hollar added, "On Memorial Day, I bought a second container of the watermelon .. not knowing."

She says she's among dozens across the country who got sick from eating the tainted pre-cut melon.

According to the CDC, it is investigating a salmonella outbreak in several states. 60 people have been infected, with more than half of them in Michigan. The CDC says pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods out of Indianapolis is the likely source of the multi-state outbreak. The melon was sold in several different stores.

Her attorney, Jory Lange says, "There can be long term consequences from Salmonella. This is something we will learn more about as the investigation continues. The full scope is not known yet."

Lange, who's a national food safety lawyer, adds that the hospitalization rate with this outbreak is unusually high.

Caito Foods did issue a voluntary recall for the tainted pre-cut melon products, but Hollar is hopeful her legal action will help lead to change.

7 Action News reached out to Caito Foods for comment on the lawsuit, but haven't received a response.

We also reached out to Walmart and we received this statement:

At Walmart, we are committed to providing our customers with safe, quality foods. As soon as we were notified of the Caito Foods voluntary recall, we immediately began to identify the affected products and instructed our stores to pull them. We take this issue seriously and once we are served with the complaints, we will respond appropriately with the courts. 

- Randy Hargrove, Senior Director, National Media Relations

For more information on the outbreak from the CDC, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/adelaide-06-18/index.html

To learn more about the recall, go to: https://www.makefoodsafe.com/the-melon-muddle-massive-recall-of-pre-cut-fruits-due-to-salmonella/

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm610345.htm

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