A massive salmonella outbreak caused by tainted cantaloupe has been linked to an Indiana farm. Following the recall of cantaloupe last month, health officials in Indiana and Kentucky investigated farms, distributors, and retailers to determine the cause of the salmonella outbreak.
A DNA test has conducted at the end of August revealed that cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms in Owensville, Indiana was the source of at least some of the salmonella responsible for the recent outbreak that caused 178 people in 21 states to become ill and killed two Kentucky residents.
Salmonella infection can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within eight to 72 hours of exposure. While most people recover without treatment, salmonella infection can be deadly for some if the infection spreads beyond the intestines. In some cases, diarrhea can result in dehydration so severe that medical attention is necessary.
Following the outbreak, Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc., of Owensville, Indiana, recalled all of its cantaloupes and it recently issued a statement saying that it is also voluntarily withdrawing its watermelons from the market.
Last year, tainted cantaloupe caused a listeria outbreak that killed 29 people. Consumers are reminded to
- Wash all produce before eating – even produce such as cantaloupes that have inedible outer rinds or skins since bacteria on the outside of the produce can contaminate the edible portions of the produce when a knife is used to cut the fruit or vegetable.
- Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops and sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water. Use a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used to dry the surfaces.
- Immediately clean up spills in the refrigerator.
- Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitization process.
Food Safety Modernization Act
As we reported, the Food Safety Modernization Act was passed by Congress at the end of December 2010 in an effort to reduce the number of people that are sick, hospitalized or die from foodborne illnesses each year. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses. Under the food safety bill, the FDA hopes that by holding everyone in today’s global food chain responsible and accountable for controlling hazards that can cause foodborne illnesses, foodborne illness can be prevented and reduced.
The Chicago product liability attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are committed to product safety and consumer rights. Contact one of our Chicago food safety attorneys at (844) 600-0000 for more information on the cantaloupe salmonella outbreak and food safety.