May 28, 2023

FDA Report on 2022 Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has issued a report on the 2022 cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 88 people and hospitalized 32. No specific brand was named, and no grower was named. The cantaloupe was grown in southwest Indiana in the summer of 2022. There is quite a long history of food poisoning outbreaks linked to cantaloupe. The case count for that outbreak was: Georgia (1), Illinois (5), Indiana (17), Iowa (39), Kentucky (3), Michigan (3), Minnesota (4), Missouri (2), Ohio (3), South Carolina  (1), and Wisconsin (10). The last illness onset date was September 13, 2022. The FDA inspected three farms in Indiana, their common packinghouse, and public lands near the farms. Environmental samples positive for Salmonella were found at each location, but none of the isolates matched … [Read more...]

History of Food Poisoning Outbreaks Linked to Cantaloupe

In the latest update to the FDA's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table, that agency stated that a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that has ended is linked to cantaloupe. This is not the first time that this fruit has caused illnesses. What is the history of food poisoning outbreaks linked to cantaloupe? While the outbreak is over, the FDA says that more information is forthcoming. We do not know the case count by state, but there are at least 87 people who are sick. We also do not know the patient age ranges, or illness onset dates. History of Food Poisoning Outbreaks Linked to Cantaloupe There have been six other multistate food poisoning outbreaks since 2011 that were linked to cantaloupe. Many of these outbreaks were deadly. Jensen Farms Listeria Outbreak In 2011, a deadly … [Read more...]

Meijer Whole Cantaloupe and Cut Trays Recalled For Salmonella

Meijer whole cantaloupe and select cut cantaloupe fruit trays and bowls are being recalled for possible Salmonella contamination. Eagle Produce LLC of Aguila, Arizona is the supplier. The recall is the result of a sampling investigation conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Meijer whole cantaloupe and fruit trays and bowls were sold between September 26 and October 5, 2020. They were offered for sale at all Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall. The Meijer whole cantaloupe that is being recalled has a sticker label stating "Kandy Brand from Eagle Produce, LLC." If there is no sticker, you should consider the cantaloupe part of the … [Read more...]

Which Foods May Be Contaminated With Listeria Monocytogenes Bacteria?

Which foods may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria? Outbreaks of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, that have been linked to these kinds of foods go back to 1985. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a list of foods that people in high risk groups should avoid. While any food can be contaminated with this pathogen, the foods that are most likely to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes include deli meats, hot dogs, dairy products such as soft cheese, raw milk, and ice cream, and produce such as celery, sprouts, and cantaloupe. People who are at high risk for serious complications from a Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning infection should think about avoiding these foods unless they are cooked to 165°F. Those at … [Read more...]

History of Outbreaks Linked to Precut Melon is Long

The Salmonella Tailor Cut precut melon outbreak is still going on, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 96 people in 11 states are sick, as of the last update almost a month ago. Twenty-seven people have been hospitalized because they are so sick, and some recalls have been issued. How many multistate food poisoning outbreaks have been linked to precut melon? After all, not many people associate fresh fruit with food poisoning. Unfortunately, the list is long. Fruit can be contaminated with pathogens in many ways, including during the growing season, during harvest, and during processing. These are the most recent food poisoning outbreaks linked to precut melon: Salmonella Javiana outbreak linked to Tailor Cut Melon. This outbreak has … [Read more...]

Minnesota Resident Sickened in Possible Tailor Cut Produce Salmonella Outbreak

A Minnesota resident sickened in a possible Tailor Cut Produce Salmonella Javiana outbreak joins at least 10 other ill people who live in Pennsylvania, according to an outbreak update from the FDA. The person from Minnesota apparently got sick in New York, one of the states that received the recalled Tailor Cut Produce along with facilities in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that the fruit mix from Tailor Cut Product of North Brunswick, New Jersey is a potential source of this outbreak. The FDA has started an inspection at the Tailor Cut Produce facility and is collecting records to start a traceback investigation. The Tailor Cut fruit mix, called Fruit Luau, was distributed to nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and other … [Read more...]

History of Melon Outbreaks Is Long and Deadly

The Salmonella Carrau outbreak just announced by the CDC that is linked to precut melons produced by Caito Foods has sickened at least 93 people. This is not the first time that melons have caused food poisoning outbreaks in the United States. In fact, the history of melon outbreaks is long. Since 1985, there have been 1,520 illnesses, 297 hospitalizations, and 36 deaths linked to contaminated melon. Most of these outbreaks were linked to cantaloupes. One of the big problems with contamination on ready-to-eat foods is that there is no "kill step" before the food is eaten. That means the consumer does not heat the product, which would destroy pathogens. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes contamination on ready-to-eat foods, but no such law exists for … [Read more...]

Steam Makes Melons Safer

After the huge and deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupes in 2011, scientists and researchers have been trying to find ways to make this product safer. The heavily webbed surface of melons is perfect for bacteria to hide and thrive. In that outbreak linked to melons, 147 people in 28 states were sickened, including seven pregnant women. One woman suffered a miscarriage, and three infants were born with listeriosis. In total, 33 deaths from outbreak-associated listeriosis in this outbreak were reported to the CDC.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment isolated Listeria monocytogenes bacteria from cantaloupe samples collected from grocery stores and from ill persons' homes. And the FDA isolated Listeria monocytogenes outbreak … [Read more...]

Farm to Fork Project Looks at Pathogen Transfer on Surfaces

A new study focusing on contact surface transfer of pathogens is halfway through its two year timeline. The research is being conducted at Virginia Tech. Dr. Laura Strawn, a produce safety Extension Specialist at that University is leading the project, along with Dr. Ben Chapman at NCSU and Dr. Michelle Danyluk at the University of Florida in Lake Alfred. The project is being funded by the Center for Produce Safety. Their research is looking at potential pathogen contamination of cantaloupe in the food chain. The study is focusing on Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes transfer. Back in 2011, a huge Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe sickened 147 people and killed 30 in 28 states. Seven pregnant women were sickened in that outbreak. One woman … [Read more...]

Cantaloupe Farmers Pay Fraction of Restitution for Listeria Outbreak

The brothers who owned the Colorado cantaloupe farm linked to the 2011 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 147 people, killed 35, and caused one miscarriage have paid a fraction of the restitution they were initially ordered to pay. Eric and Ryan Jensen, both of Holly Colorado, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to introducing cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria to the marketplace and were ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to victims who lost money because of the outbreak. Those who lost money in connection with the outbreak on medical bills, attorneys fees or funeral expenses and were seeking restitution were to have submitted an account to the court by a deadline last week. Only three people did. Their statements, for $7,624, $4,644 and $916, totaled $13,184. Many of the … [Read more...]

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