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Listeria Cantaloupe Recall Expanded to 188,000 Melons

FDA found 'unsanitary conditions' during packing shed inspection

Burch Equipment LLC in North Carolina is expanding their recall to include 13,888 cases and 581 bins of whole Athena cantaloupes, 188,902 melons in all, for possibly being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday the recall expansion — up from 580 cases over the weekend — is based on “unsanitary conditions” found at the cantaloupe packing shed during the agency’s ongoing inspection

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company’s cantaloupes, which bear red “Burch Farms” labels, were shipped between July 15th and July 27th and distributed to retail stores in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The labels reference PLU #4319.

The company announced Thursday that all cantaloupes were grown by Burch Farms but some of the melons may be labeled with a “Cottle Straeberry, Inc” sticker referencing PLU #4319.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Microbiological Data Program, which has been in the spotlight after nearly being shutdown this month, found the contamination. The sample tested was pulled by the New York Department of Agriculture on July 16 and on July 26 the positive was reported to FDA. On July 28, Burch Equipment LLC announced the recall of 580 cases and on July 30 FDA issued a warning to consumers.

Burch Equipment LLC said Thursday the cantaloupes were shipped to retail establishments in both corrugated boxes, with 9 cantaloupe per case, and in bulk bins. The company is requesting any consumer that may have one of these cantaloupes to discard them.

Listeria monocytogenes can can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in certain vulnerable populations, including young children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women are also considered to be at risk, as Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

There have been no illnesses reported to date. Consumers concerned they may have a foodborne illness should contact their health care provider.

© Food Safety News
  • Kathleen

    I can’t believe this has happened again this year!!! Without the MDP how big could this outbreak have become? How many illnesses and deaths would have occurred?

  • John

    I want to know when the full FDA report will be released, documenting the specific unsanitary conditions they found.

  • Ben

    The company is requesting any consumer that may have one of these cantaloupes to discard them. WHAT A JOKE! There is not even a label on the melons, how does a consumer know it’s one of the contaminated ones. Best choice bring every melon back to the store.

  • wanda

    …and if you’ve already fed the melons to your family…small children included…what are you supposed to do??? Just sit and wait, and pray that one of your kids doesn’t get a fatal infection from the melon you fed them????