Food Lion has pulled cantaloupe from 463 Food Lion and Reid’s store locations throughout The Southeast because they are possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal infections. The melons were produced by Burch Equipment LLC of N.C. which announced a recall on July 28 after a random sample tested positive for Listeria. No illnesses have been reported with this recall.
A total of 188,902 melons are included in the recall which was expanded August 2, after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators discovered unsanitary in the packing shed. Initial announcements mistakenly identified the melons as Athena cantaloupes. However, the recalled cantaloupes are actually the Caribbean Gold variety. They bear a red sticker reading “Burch Farms” and “PLU # 4319”.
The melons were shipped between July 15th and July 27th and were stocked at 463 Food Lion and Reid’s locations in seven states. In North Carolina, 234 stores mostly in the greater Charlotte and High Point-Greensboro-Winston-Salem areas are affected. In South Carolina, 118 locations, mostly in Augusta, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach are affected. There are 45 locations in Virginia, 32 in Tennessee, 27 in Georgia four in West Virginia and three in Kentucky. Eleven Reid’s stores in South Carolina are also included in the recall. A full list of locations is available here.
Listeria can cause serious foodborne illness. Almost all cases of infection, called listeriosis, require hospitalization and about 20 percent of infections are deadly. Listeria symptoms include headache, fever and muscle aches. Consumers who purchased a recalled melon should not eat it. Anyone who did eat a recalled melon and develops these symptoms should see a health care provider.