Chamberlain Farms expands recall by adding watermelons

09/10/2012 01:29:00 PM
Tom Karst

Chamberlain Farms, Owensville, Ind., has expanded its original recall of cantaloupes to include watermelons distributed over this past growing season. The watermelons could have been contaminated with Salmonella newport, according to a press release from St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, Inc.

"This is an evolving situation," Lori Willis, spokeswoman for Schnuck Markets, said Sept. 10. "As far as the reason why (the recall was expanded to watermelon), they said (the fruit) was possibly contaminated with salmonella as well," she said.

For Schnucks, Logli and Hilander stores in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa (stores outside of Indiana), the recalled watermelons can be identified by a sticker — "Indian Hills — Product of USA."

Watermelons with that sticker should not be eaten but can be returned to the store for a refund.

Meanwhile, customers of the five Indiana Schnucks stores, where the product is delivered directly by the local grower, will not see stickers. Those watermelons without stickers can be returned to the store for a full refund.

The release said that as of Sept. 7, all watermelons in Schnucks stores originate from farms outside the recall zone.



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mark Arney    
Orlando, FL  |  September, 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM

The strain of salmonella in this isolated incident that “may’ be on Chamberlain farms’ watermelons is not the same strain found on Chamberlain's cantaloupes that caused such tragic illnesses last month. The FDA investigation did not report that any watermelons were implicated in any type of illnesses. And furthermore, watermelon has never been the cause of any food borne illness or outbreak. The waxy skin and smooth rind of watermelon lends itself to a unique position in produce: rind pathogens such as salmonella are much less likely to develop and grow on watermelon than on other types of produce. The National Watermelon Promotion Board has conducted two studies (2008 and 2012, respectively) that examine rind pathogens and their likelihood of being present on watermelon. Both studies’ results indicate that with simple food safety protocols in place, it is highly unlikely that watermelon will carry and grow food borne illnesses in the form of rind pathogen bacteria such as Salmonella. Watermelon is healthy, nutritious and safe, with a naturally low risk of rind pathogens. We are doing everything in our power with our sister organization, the National Watermelon Association, as a united watermelon industry to ensure that the highest standards of food safety protocols are in place to protect our families’, and the public’s, health.

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