“At the point they notified us about the positive listeria test on the one melon, we had already shipped everything for the season.”
Burch Farms shipped the recalled cantaloupes to retailers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina. The initial recall notice July 28 said they were shipped to Maine and New York.
In a July 30 warning to consumers and retailers, the Food and Drug Administration stated that “the cantaloupes were shipped in sweet potato cartons,” but Burch said Aug. 6 that the farm uses sweet potato bins for the field harvesting of cantaloupes. The melons then go to a packing shed specifically for cantaloupe and are shipped in cantaloupe cartons and bulk bins.
He said the farm has been growing cantaloupes for about five years. They planted about 115 acres of cantaloupes for this season.
“We may not plant any next year,” Burch said.