Salmonella Fears Prompt Del Monte Cantaloupe Recall

Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc (“Del Monte Fresh”) just announced a voluntary recall of certain cantaloupes grown in and shipped from Arizona, the US Food and Drug Administration just reported. The affected product was distributed to limited customers in and around Detroit, Michigan and is being recalled because these cantaloupes have the potential to be contaminated with the dangerous, often deadly, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella pathogen.

In general, healthy persons infected with Salmonella poisoning—Salmonellosis—often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditic, and arthritis.

Salmonella can also lead to serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Approximately 81 cartons of cantaloupes, each containing 15 cantaloupes per carton, were distributed to wholesalers in Detroit who, in turn, sold to other wholesalers and or to retail and foodservice outlets beginning on October 11, 2010. The cantaloupes have a light brown colored skin on the exterior and orange flesh. Each cantaloupe bears a Del Monte® sticker with the words “Cantaloupe USA.”

The cantaloupes were distributed for sale in bulk in cardboard cartons. The recalled cartons containing the recalled cantaloupes are dark brown cardboard with the “Del Monte” logo in red lettering and “cantaloupes” in yellow lettering on a green background. The cantaloupes have the lot codes W-11-147-43-size 15 or W-11-14-19 size 15.

The cantaloupe recall is being implemented as a result of a random test directed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and carried out by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Although no illnesses have been reported, Del Monte Fresh voluntarily decided to recall the potentially affected lot.

Consumers who believe that they are in possession of uneaten cantaloupe affected by this recall may contact Del Monte Fresh at any time by calling 1-800-659-6500 or emailing Del Monte Fresh at Contact-US-Executive-Office@freshdelmonte.com.

We recently wrote that The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) announced that the USDA, using its recently released tool for calculating the cost of food borne illnesses, estimated that food borne illness cases, including Salmonella, cost the nation about $3.13 billion a year.

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimated that Salmonella infections, from all sources, cost about $2.65 billion annually, based on an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of 1.4 million Salmonella cases annually from all sources. This includes 415 deaths. The estimated average cost per case is $1,896.

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