(UPDATED COVERAGE, 12:05 p.m.) After inspectors found listeria on a honeydew melon grown and packed by Burch Farms, the company expanded its existing cantaloupe recall to include all of this season’s cantaloupes and honeydew melons.
A notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website, posted late Aug. 10, states that the honeydew melons do not have any identifying stickers. They were packed in cartons labeled “melons,” according to the company’s notice.
No illnesses have been reported related to the honeydews or cantaloupes. Burch first recalled 5,200 cantaloupes on July 28 after listeria was found on one cantaloupe at a retailer in New York during a random test by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Microbiological Data Program.
The recall was expanded Aug. 2 to 188,900 cantaloupes distributed in 10 states after the FDA found “unsanitary conditions” at the Burch packing facility, according to the recall notice.
Jimmy Burch Sr., said Aug. 13 that FDA officials declined to tell him where the honeydew melon was when it was tested. He said inspectors have apparently completed their work at his farm and packing facility, but have not provided him with results of samples taken there in recent days.
Burch said he planted only about 10 acres of honeydews for this season. The entire crop went to wholesalers. He reiterated that his farm has not had food safety issues in the past.
"We shipped 3,000 loads of produce last year with no problems," Burch said.
In its latest recall notice the company reminds consumers that the listeria incubation period “can be one to three weeks, but may be in the range of three to 70 days.”
Complete distribution details on the melons are not available, according to the notice.
“The cantaloupes and honeydew melons involved in this expanded recall were sold to distributors between June 23 and July 27, in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massaschuttes, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia,” the Aug. 10 recall states.
“The melons may have further been distributed to retail stores, restaurants and food service facilities in other states.”