More cantaloupes are being recall in response to potential Listeria contamination. Burch Equipment LLC, of North Carolina, is expanding its recall to now include all of this growing season’s cantaloupes and honeydew melons that may remain on the market, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.
The whole cantaloupes are identified by a red label that bears the Burch Farms name and references PLU # 4319. All of the cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms; however, some may bear a “Cottle Strawberry, Inc.” sticker referencing PLU #4319. Cottle Strawberry, Inc. did not grow or process the cantaloupes involved in this recall. Cantaloupes from Burch Farms were shipped in corrugated boxes with nine cantaloupes per case, as well as in bulk bins.
Honeydew melons involved in the expanded recall bear no identifying stickers and were packed in cartons labeled “melons.” Consumers in possession of these recalled honeydew melons should contact the store where they were purchased for information about whether the melons are part of this recall.
Cantaloupes and honeydew melons involved in this expanded recall were sold to distributors between June 23rd and July 27th, in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. The fruit may have been further distributed to retail stores, restaurants, and food service facilities in other states.
Burch Equipment LLC is requesting that consumers in possession of the recalled produce to discard the product. The FDA and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are working with Burch Equipment LLC, which can be reached at 1.910.267.5781, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by email to [email protected].
We recently wrote that the original cantaloupe recall was expanded to include an additional 13,888 cases of whole Athena variety cantaloupes. At the time of the prior recall expansion, 188,902 cantaloupes were recalled over potential contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. As we mentioned previously, grocery store owners should be aware that the FDA also learned that the originally recalled cantaloupes were packed into sweet potato cartons. The prior recall’s expansion was based on unsanitary conditions found at the cantaloupe packing shed during the FDA’s ongoing inspection. These unsanitary conditions may allow for contamination of cantaloupes with Listeria monocytogenes.
No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recent recalled cantaloupes; however, as we’ve long explained, the Listeria pathogen is unique because it thrives in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments. Listeria also has an unusually long incubation period—up to 70 days, according to experts. The pathogen also well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.
Listeria monocytogenes can lead to the listeriosis infection, a potentially fatal disorder that can cause high fever; severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can also prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.