Charlie's Produce Latest to Recall Cantaloupe Amid Salmonella ConcernsMar 25, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP Charlie's Produce of Spokane, Washington has recalled Charlie's Produce Brand Cut Cantaloupe Products due to potential contamination with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail, or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Laboratory testing is required to determine the presence of Salmonella; additional testing can determine the specific type and which antibiotics are needed. Generally, the illness lasts a week and most recover without treatment. In some, hospitalization is required because the infection may have spread from the intestines to the blood stream and other body sites. Severe cases can result in arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis and can result in death if not treated.
The products recalled by Charlie's Produce include fruit items containing cut cantaloupe distributed in Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana to retail stores, delis, and food service institutions and have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak spanning 16 states and several Canadian provinces. Products are branded with the Charlie's Produce name and logo, in a hard plastic clamshell, with a “Use By” date of 3 07 through 3 29 which is stamped on the bottom of the container. Cantaloupe used in these products may have been supplied from Agropecuaria Montelibano, a Honduran grower and packer. The recalled cantaloupe products include:
• Cut Fruit 4 Section: 40oz
• Cut Cantaloupe: 24oz, 16oz, 8oz
• Cut Honeydew/Cantaloupe: 16oz
• Mixed Fruit: 24oz, 16oz, 8oz
• Rainbow: 24oz, 16oz, 8oz
• Cut Fruit Tray Deli: 12', 8'
• Cut Fruit Tray: 76oz, 40oz, 8'
• Grab & Go Fruit Tray: 16oz
Food Service Products:
• Cut Cantaloupe: 20lb, 64oz
• Cut Mixed Fruit: 20lb, 64oz
This recall was prompted a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cantaloupes imported from Honduras and Agropecuaria Montelibano. The FDA said that cantaloupes from this company appears to be associated with Salmonella Litchfield contamination. According to the FDA, the Agropecuaria Montelibano cantaloupes have left 50 people ill; 14 required hospitalization. In the US, the cantaloupe Salmonella poisoning has been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Canada, Salmonella from the cantaloupes has been seen in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.
The FDA is warning wholesalers, grocers and consumers who purchased Agropecuaria Montelibano cantaloupes to discard them at once and has ordered that the company’s cantaloupe imports be detained at the border for further testing. Consumers who purchased cantaloupe should check with their grocer to see if the fruit was imported by Agropecuaria Montelibano. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for full refund. Customers with questions may contact the company through: Mike Ruff, Food Safety Director, at 206-625-1412 Monday through Friday.
Yesterday, the Dole Fresh Fruit Company also recalled cantaloupes it purchased from a Costa Rican grower because those cantaloupes have tested positive for Salmonella as well.