Short Answer: If you accidentally eat bad cantaloupe, you may get food poisoning or listeriosis, which can cause serious complications and even death in some cases.
Cantaloupe is a type of melon fruit that has a sweet and juicy flesh and a rough, netted skin.
It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and other nutrients.
If you accidentally eat bad cantaloupe, you may experience food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and muscle aches.
In some cases, you may also develop a serious infection called listeriosis, which can affect your brain, nervous system, and even cause miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women.
This is because bad cantaloupe may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella or listeria, which can grow on the fruit’s surface or inside the flesh.
These bacteria can cause inflammation and damage to your digestive tract and other organs.
Salmonella can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and septic shock in severe cases.
Listeria can cause meningitis, encephalitis, sepsis, and death in vulnerable groups such as elderly, immunocompromised, and pregnant people.
It is quite uncommon to eat bad cantaloupe due to its distinctive appearance and smell.
Spoiled cantaloupe appears soft, bruised, moldy, and leaky, and gives off an unpleasant odor.
However, sometimes the signs of spoilage may not be obvious, especially if the fruit is pre-cut or mixed with other fruits.
You can prevent or treat food poisoning from bad cantaloupe by following these steps:
Wash your hands before and after handling cantaloupe and other fruits.
Wash the whole cantaloupe under running water and scrub the skin with a clean brush before cutting it.
Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on the fruit.
Refrigerate the cut cantaloupe in an airtight container and consume it within three to four days.
Discard any cantaloupe that looks or smells bad, or has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Drink plenty of fluids and seek medical attention if you have severe or persistent symptoms of food poisoning or listeriosis.
Finally, remember, cantaloupe is a delicious and nutritious fruit that can benefit your health when eaten fresh and safe.
However, it can also pose a risk of foodborne illness if contaminated or spoiled, so be careful and enjoy it responsibly.