New York Firm Recalls Cut Cantaloupe For Listeria

Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. of Depew, New York is recalling about 4,800 individual packages of its “Fresh Cut Cantaloupe And Cut Mixed Fruit Containing Cantaloupe” over concerns the produce is contaminated with <"">Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

According to the FDA, Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. said it was not advised of the possible cantaloupe contamination connected to fruit it acquired from an independent wholesale vendor until last Thursday, September 27th. The recalled Fresh Cut Cantaloupe And Cut Mixed Fruit Containing Cantaloupe was distributed in Buffalo, New York and surrounding areas and in retail stores and through catering orders. The produce was sold between August 31, 2011 and September 11, 2011.

The recalled cantaloupe consisted of Cantaloupe Chunks, Cantaloupe Slices, Gourmet Fruit Salad, Small Fruit Salad, Small and Large Fruit Salad with Pineapple, Fruit Salad with Kiwi, and Fruit Trays. Packaging indicates best-if-used-by dates ranging from September 4th through the 11th.

No illnesses have been reported, to date, in connection with the cantaloupe processed by Fruit Fresh Up, Inc.; however, this cantaloupe is part of the larger cantaloupe recall initiated by Jensen Farms.

Before cutting whole melons for packaging, Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. said it uses stringent procedures to minimize contamination risks such as thoroughly washing and sanitizing the rind of the whole cantaloupe with a sanitizing solution before cutting. After seed removal, cantaloupe flesh is washed with this sanitizing solution prior to being cut or sliced. Although Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. believes theses steps do help mitigate contamination risks, it proceeded with a recall when it was made aware that its shipment was part of the shipment connected to the ongoing, multi-state Listeria outbreak traced to Rocky Ford cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado.

Consumers in possession of the recalled Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. product should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or destroy it. Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. is located at 2928 Walden Avenue, New York 14043 and can be reached at 1.716.684.4300, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The deadly cantaloupe Listeria outbreak has reportedly sickened 100 and has led to 18 deaths. The Listeria outbreak now involves 20 states, according to federal health officials.

Unfortunately, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that the illnesses, which involve four strains of the dangerous and sometimes deadly Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, will likely rise in October and the following months, said MSNBC this week. Officials believe that the toll of those sickened and dead will be even greater than the historic 1998 hotdog Listeria outbreak involving deli meat and hot dogs and that killed 21 people, explained MSNBC.

The FDA continues to investigate the cause of the outbreak, which has, to date, led to a recall of over 300,000 cases of whole cantaloupe grown and shipped by Jensen Farms.

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