Cantaloupe Plant Free of Salmonella
Source of Article: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/6306
Date Published: Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Earlier this week we reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that L&M Companies, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina, issued a three-state recall of its whole cantaloupes because of a possible health risk due to concerns of Salmonella contamination. Now, the Packer reports that investigators have been unable to locate additional Salmonella at L&M.
The FDA discovered Salmonella from a test on one farm bin scheduled for distribution to the packinghouse, said The Packer. ABC Research Corporation of Gainesville, Florida—L&M’s third-party auditor—conducted 18 more tests for Salmonella, which all came back negative for the pathogen, according to The Packer.
The L&M Companies recall involved one lot of whole cantaloupes; no illnesses have been reported, to date. The whole cantaloupes were sold between May 10-15, 2009 in Wal-Mart Supercenter Stores in North Carolina and South Carolina as well as in the Wal-Mart Supercenter Store located at 315 Furr Street in South Hill, Virginia. Consumers who purchased whole cantaloupes from these Wal-Mart stores during this period were previously alerted to not consume them, and to destroy the product.
The recall comes after a cantaloupe at a farm from which L&M Companies sources its products tested positive for Salmonella. The Packer reported that L&M—which grows its own melons and sources from other contract growers in the Southeast—stopped shipments from this farm; the grower continues to investigate the cause of the problem. The grower, Pass Line Farms of Immokalee, Florida, shipped 73 bins, which The Packer explained, is a bit more than one load. Pass Line shipped the melons to Wal-Mart distribution centers in North and South Carolina, added The Packer.
The Salmonella pathogen can cause serious, sometimes fatal Salmonellosis infections in young children; weak or elderly people; and those with weakened immune systems, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy or who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other immune system compromising diseases.
Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain within 12 to 72 hours of contamination. Generally, the illness lasts a week, but, in some, hospitalization is required because the infection may have spread to the blood stream and other body sites, producing more severe illnesses. Without treatment, severe cases of Salmonella poisoning can result in arterial infections—such as infected aneurysms—endocarditis, arthritis, and death. Some Salmonella bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.
Salmonella is usually found in food contaminated with animal feces and is a group of bacteria that passes from the feces of people or animals to other people or animals, causing contamination when food is improperly stored or handled and when preparers do not wash their hands or sanitize implements involved in food storage.
Salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-related outbreaks of stomach illness worldwide and Salmonella poisoning can lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.
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