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Cut Cantaloupe Tied to Outbreak Recalled

A Kansas food processor is recalling fresh cut cantaloupe chunks and fruit medley containing cantaloupe because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that have caused a multistate outbreak.

Carol’s Cuts said Friday that it is recalling 594 pounds of the fresh cut melon, which was packaged in 5-pound trays as chunks and as an ingredient in 8-ounce mixed fruit medley.

Carol’s Cuts Fruit Medley was packaged in 8-ounce individual serving clamshell containers (6 packages per case) and 5-pound bulk trays of cantaloupe chunks distributed to institutional food customers, including restaurants, in Overland Park, Kansas, Kansas City and Maryland Heights, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska.

Institutional customers may have used the cantaloupe in salad bars and as fruit menu items. Some institutional customers may have placed the 8-ounce servings in retail venues.

Carol’s Cuts has notified all institutional customers of the recall and asked that the contaminated cantaloupe be returned or destroyed.

The Carol’s Cuts Fruit Medley product was shipped to customers on August 26 and September 12, 2011 and can be identified by oval label stickers stating Fruit Medley. The products have “Best if Used By” dates of Sept. 3, 2011 and Sept. 19, 2011 respectively.

The 5-pound bulk trays of cantaloupe chunks were shipped to customers on August 26 and August 29, 2011 and are identified with tray stickers showing a Lot # 72361 and a “Best if Used By” date of Sept. 3, 2011. Those shipped Sept. 12, 2011 are identified with tray stickers showing a Lot # 72700 and a “Best if Used By” date of Sept. 19, 2011.

This recall is part of the larger recall involving cantaloupe traced to Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed that Listeria was found in samples taken from a Denver-area store and the Jensen Farms packing facility.

 The melons were shipped to at least 17 different states across the U.S. between July 29 and Sept. 10. As of Thursday there were eight deaths and 55 illnesses related to the contaminated cantaloupe.

Jenson Farms has ceased production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue their investigations as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who may have the recalled Carol’s Cuts product in their possession should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or destroy it.

Carol’s Cuts consumers with questions may contact the company at 913- 281-5200, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

© Food Safety News