The strain of Salmonella that has now sickened 178 people in 21 states has been found on samples of cantaloupes from the southwestern Indiana farm previously suspected to be the source of the bacteria, confirming the link between the grower and the ongoing outbreak.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Chamberlain Farms was the likely site of contamination, but at the time test results had not confirmed the connection.
The agency collected samples at the Owensville, Indiana farm between August 14-16, and announced Tuesday that “samples of cantaloupe taken from the farm have shown the presence of Salmonella Typhimurium with a DNA fingerprint that matches the outbreak strain.”
“Consumers who recently purchased Chamberlain Farms cantaloupes are advised not to eat them and discard any remaining cantaloupe,” advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to available information, other cantaloupes are still safe to eat at this time, says the agency.
Most cantaloupes grown at Chamberlain Farms are identified with a sticker.
“If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about the source,” says CDC. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
The first illnesses related to this outbreak began on July 7, 2012, according to the CDC.
Illnesses have been reported as recently as August 9, but any sicknesses that occurred after July 31 may not have been taken into account yet due to the time it takes to report illnesses, says CDC.© Food Safety News