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Salmonella Cantaloupe Prompts Simply Fresh Fruit Recall

Mar 29, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP Simply Fresh Fruit of Los Angeles, California has announced a nationwide recall of select fresh cut fruit products that contain cantaloupe that may be have been contaminated with salmonella.  The week, Simply Fresh was requested by its supplier, Tropifresh, Inc. to recall products produced with cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano.  Simply Fresh began to recover this product earlier, on March 24, based on a notice published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Recalled products include:  Simply Fresh Fruit Brand food service Fruit Mix in Syrup products dated “sell by 4 – 18 08” or earlier, food service Cantaloupe Chunks in Syrup products dated “sell by 4 – 08 8” or earlier, and retail and club store Simply Fresh, Fresh  Cut Fruit Brand containing cantaloupe dated “sell by 3 – 29 8”or earlier.  The retail and club store products involved were removed from sale prior to March 24.  Also, foodservice distributors who sell their own brand, have been notified, and are recalling all involved products.  Foodservice products are packed in plastic pails or jars, and retail products are packed in plastic trays.  Food Service establishments who have any of the products involved in the recall should contact their supplier for disposition instructions.  Consumers with questions may contact Simply Fresh Fruit at (323) 586-0000.

Meanwhile, T.M. Kovacevich International, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has also recalled cantaloupe due to a possible health risk.  Kvacevich is recalling cantaloupes it purchased from Agropecuaria Montelibano because the FDA determined that the cantaloupe this company has distributed has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.  The recalled fruit was distributed to wholesalers and processors in Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey and may have possibly reached consumers through grocery stores, restaurants, or other similar channels.  Whole cantaloupe fruits subject to this recall carry a “Mike’s Melons” sticker or may not be labeled because this descriptive sticker may have fallen off.  The whole cantaloupe fruits subject to this recall were sold in boxes marked with the following textual information:  “Cantaloupe, Mike’s Melons, Produce of Honduras, Grown, Packed and Shipped by Agropecuaria Montelibano, San Lorenzo, Valle, Honduras.”

Consumers who have recently bought whole cantaloupes from this specific grower and packer should destroy these products immediately.  Consumers with questions may contact George Manos of T.M. Kovacevich International, Inc. at  (215) 336-3160.

Salmonella is 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.

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