California’s cantaloupe producers will face a new set of food safety rules this season — rules they are imposing on themselves. In an unprecedented move for the state’s produce industry, California cantaloupe handlers have elected to adopt a mandatory food safety plan as part of an effort to restore consumer confidence in the cantaloupe market,…

The unwritten rule in the produce industry is that a company should not market its product as safer than a competitor’s. The thinking is that once consumers get it in their heads that a fruit or vegetable is more safe, that means another is less safe, and then maybe they’ll avoid the commodity or category…

“OMG. Not cantaloupes again.” That’s what many consumers are saying about the recent back-to-back news this summer. First it was an all-season recall, then a deadly foodborne illness outbreak, both linked to contaminated cantaloupes. It doesn’t help that the recall, which was triggered after Listeria was found in a North Carolina farm’s packing shed…

California cantaloupes will soon come with the assurance that they meet strict food safety standards, thanks to a mandatory statewide program that includes both announced and unannounced inspections and certification under government oversight. The plan is for the program to begin this season, which lasts into the fall, but approval of an audit checklist by…

The 2011 outbreak of Listeria monocytogenesis in cantaloupe sparked a heightened level of interest in efforts to make cantaloupe safer, with fruit and produce trade associations developing safety guidelines and California cantaloupe growers pushing to set safety goals.

Bassam Annous, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, might just have the solution the…

The whole cantaloupes now available in the stores are safe to eat — as long as basic food-safety practices are followed — and they have no connection with the Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes that as of Sept. 24 have sickened at least 61 and killed 10 or more people, several food-safety experts told Food Safety News.…