FDA tests of water from the wells and spigots tested positive for coliforms and E. coli, which the warning letter states should not be present in properly protected wells.
Although the FDA letter does not mention it, a report by Indiana’s Department of Health made public in early October showed a small feedlot for show cattle adjacent to one of Chamberlain’s cantaloupe fields. The Indiana inspector also reported well water used in the cantaloupe wash basin was at least 56 degrees.
Chamberlain said in the prss release that he will not grow cantaloupe until the FDA investigation is complete and it is determined that the “surrounding environment can be made free of potential sources of bacterium that could contaminate (his) growing fields.”
However, he has not incidated whether he will continue to grow watermelon. Some of his watermelons tested positive for salmonella in mid-September. That salmonella strain was indistinguishable from one found on his cantaloupe and linked to sick people, according to the CDC.