The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday night announced a recall of cantaloupe grown by Chamberlain Farms located at Owensville, IN.
Previously, FDA declined to name the cantaloupe farm involved in an ongoing outbreak of foodborne illnesses spreading across the country.
Cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms “may be one source” of contamination in the multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis, FDA said in the announcement.
Chamberlain Farms agreed to remove their cantaloupe from the market place after meeting the health officials from FDA, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Indiana.
Salmonella Typhimurium is the cause of the outbreak that previously being attributed to an un-named cantaloupe farm in southwestern Indiana.
So far, 178 in 21 states have been sickened in the outbreak, which has result in two deaths.
FDA said records at Chamberlain Farms indicate the cantaloupe was originally shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Food Safety News has asked FDA for a wholesale-retail distribution list for cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) routinely provides such lists for Class I recalls like this one where there is an immediate threat to public health. “We don’t have the distribution list yet,” said Shelly Burgess, FDA’s spokeswoman.
Chamberlain’s melons were sold in local retail outsells in four counties in southwest Indiana and one county in southeast Illinois before being shipped to wholesalers in Durant, IA, Peru, IL, Owensboro, KY, and St Louis.
However, Chamberlain Farms reportedly stopped shipping cantaloupe on Aug. 17, the day Kentucky’s state laboratory connected the outbreak strain to two cantaloupes from an Indiana grower that were being sold at retail.
The agency’s late night announcement came after a day when it was taking ever more criticism for not going public with what it knew about the source of the outbreak.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated as new information became available.© Food Safety News