The leader of the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board called for mandatory government inspections today as part of a proposed program designed to ensure consumers that the crop is safe.
The cantaloupe food safety press conference in Dinuba, California, was further industry reaction to the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak last year that killed 31 people. The source of contamination was traced to a packing facility at Jensen Farms of Colorado. It was one of the deadliest outbreaks of food poisoning ever in the United States.
California’s growers have never been associated with an outbreak of foodborne illness, but Patricio’s organization is determined to step up safety measures to keep it that way.
“In keeping with the leadership position we have always taken with respect to food safety, the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board is pledging today to move forward to establish a mandatory state marketing order with government oversight to focus on food safety in the production of California cantaloupe,” Patricio said. “We are asking for and anticipate participation from other western cantaloupe producing regions and we hope that other cantaloupe producers around the world will follow our lead.”