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Eight people die from salmonella linked to cut cantaloupe melon in US and Canada

A salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut cantaloupe melon has killed eight people in the US and Canada. 

In the US, where three people died, at least 96 more have needed hospital treatment.

At least 230 salmonella cases have been reported in 38 states, according to health officials.

The tainted cantaloupe was also shipped to Canada, where 129 cases have been reported - five people have died, and 44 people have been sent to hospital.

Many of those who fell ill reported eating pre-cut cantaloupe in plastic packages and trays sold in shops.

People should not buy, eat or serve cantaloupe if they don't know where it has come from, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Six companies have issued recall notices for products containing cantaloupe, including fruit cup mixes.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said if people are not sure whether the melon they have is one of the recalled products, they should not eat it.

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The people needing hospital treatment included care home residents and children at daycare centres, the CDC said last week.

The number of people affected by the outbreak is likely to be higher than what's been reported. It typically takes three to four weeks to determine whether a sick person is part of an outbreak.

Health officials are still working to determine whether more products are linked to the illnesses.

Salmonella causes stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. It can cause serious illness in young children, people older than 65 and those with weakened immune systems.