FDA confirms cantaloupe fields, shed contaminated

03/04/2013 12:23:00 PM
Coral Beach

Inspectors question water practices

FDA inspectors noted that the agricultural water Chamberlain Farm used during growing, harvesting and packing “may not have been of adequate quality and therefore cannot be eliminated as a potential contributor in the spread of salmonella contamination.”

The FDA also found problems with a well that provided water for Chamberlain Farm’s greenhouse where cantaloupe seedlings were grown. The agency cited problems with other wells used for irrigation and packinghouse water.

The well water did not test positive for salmonella, but it did have E. coli and coliform. According to the March 1 FDA report, “it is unusual to note indicators of fecal contamination to be recovered from ground water sources.”

Chamberlain told FDA investigators he did not use any irrigation on one of his four cantaloupe fields. The investigators questioned that statement.

“This is extraordinary given the water use demands typically required to commercially produce cantaloupe and watermelon, particularly given the extreme heat and drought conditions which occurred in Southwest Indiana during the summer growing season of 2012,” according to the FDA report.

The FDA reported Chamberlain did not have written food safety procedures or documents about monitoring wash water used at the packing shed.


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Nellie McConnell    
CA  |  March, 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Who owns these farms and packing plants and why isn't this inspected more often so this don't happen again? It may not be only filth but health problems from the workers who may be refugees or illegals. Our government should make everyone come in the right way. This would eliminate a lot of problems in all businesses. Why are we importing meat from foreign countries? Most are run or owned by the governments. Is this going to happen here too? I don't buy foreign produce because our government don't have the inspection in foreign countries, Especially China on any product. I find more can food and cookies from China and there is no way I want to eat this food.

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