FDA, CFIA cantaloupe tests results differ - The Packer

FDA, CFIA cantaloupe tests results differ

06/05/2008 12:00:00 AM
Angie Hanson

(June 5, UPDATED 11:40 a.m.) Random samples taken by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency show different results on a cantaloupe lot, following a Canadian distributor’s recall of the melons, citing a positive test for salmonella in that country.

The CFIA issued a health hazard alert June 2 for a shipment of KingFisher-brand cantaloupes from Blythe, Calif.-based Fisher Ranch Corp. The melons were transported to Toronto-based Gambles Ontario Produce Inc., which issued a recall on June 2.

A random FDA inspection on May 28 on Fisher Ranch’s melons from the same Brawley, Calif., lot implicated by the CFIA contained no traces of salmonella, said Bart Fisher, managing member of Danna & Fisher LLC, which ships the KingFisher melons.

The melons were shipped to Gambles on May 13, Fisher said. They were in the Ontario market from May 16 to June 2, said Garfield Balsom, food safety recall specialist for the CFIA. No illnesses have been reported.

Fisher said his company has filed a request under the Canadian Freedom of Information Act to receive the CFIA’s lab results because the agency is not releasing its results or testing protocol.

“That’s why we requested the lab data, to set a record in place, so we can go from this point forward and try to get some standards set that will allow both Canadians and Americans to live under similar rules and procedures,” Fisher said. “Without transparency, it’s difficult to see what knowledge or lack of knowledge the Canadians have. It doesn’t lend confidence in trading.”



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