Recalled Chamberlain cantaloupes did not have lot numbers

08/24/2012 02:13:00 PM
Coral Beach

(For additional information, please see "Cantaloupe growers frestrated; guidelines expected soon")

cantaloupeThe owners of Chamberlain Farms, as well as some federal officials, say media reports have not accurately reflected some of their statements about the ongoing 21-state salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe from the Owensville, Ind., farm.

Tim Chamberlain told The Packer that he “doesn’t know for sure” if his cantaloupe is the source of salmonella that has sickened 147 people and contributed to the deaths of two Kentuckians. Some media reported Chamberlain had told them his cantaloupe were not contaminated.

“I haven’t told anybody that my melons were ‘not the source’ — I said I didn’t know,” Chamberlain said Aug. 24. “I don’t know anything yet. We are still waiting on test results from FDA.”

Shelly Burgess, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration, said Aug. 24 “we do not have an ETA yet on the test results.”

Burgess also said the agency is advising consumers to not eat cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms. Some media reports said the FDA has warned against all Indiana cantaloupes, but Burgess said Chamberlain Farm cantaloupes are the only ones the agency has identified.

The FDA is continuing its work on a list of specific distributors and retailers who received Chamberlain’s cantaloupes, but was not ready to release it as of mid-day Aug. 24. Burgess said only some of the Chamberlain cantaloupes had identifying stickers, but some did not. She referred other traceability questions to the farm.

Neither the FDA nor Chamberlain has information on how many cantaloupes were shipped from June 21 to Aug. 16. Chamberlain voluntarily started withdrawing his cantaloupes Aug. 16 after health officials contacted him about the possibility they were contaminated with salmonella.

Chamberlain said the cantaloupes did not have any lot numbers when he shipped them to retailers and wholesalers in southwest Indiana and southern Illinois. He said the farm does not have a test-and-hold policy.

FDA officials continue to investigate the outbreak with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notices from both agencies stress that there may be more than one source of the salmonella, but they did not provide details about what the other sources could be.



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Lalo Sandoval    
Gonzales Ca  |  August, 24, 2012 at 08:02 PM

Beverly Hillbillies How Can any Grocery Chain purchase melons from Jed Clampett and Company?

D Mills    
GA.  |  August, 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM

This has been going on for so many years, some of us follow all Food Saftey rules and then some don"t as we have seen, I think the retailers that buys from growers without the proper GMP and GAP guide lines in place should be held accountable also!!!!!

Anon    
USA  |  August, 27, 2012 at 09:36 AM

Certain growers are doing their part in food safety, and others are cutting corners... the retailers need to know who they're buying from, who has certs and audits, and who is up to speed with their recall procedures if the worst were to happen. Maybe they'll start to think twice when they chase that $1-2 deal from "vendor C", and realize that vendors "A" and "B" may have a higher price because they've done their work to ensure they have the safest possible fruit they can offer... all that costs a pretty penny in our industry today, and it's unfortunate it's not recognized more throughout the industry. with that being said, unfortunate things can happen to anyone... but with all that has happened in the last few years with food safety issues, more and more retailers SHOULD put more emphasis and importance on their real relationships, and how seriously those people are taking these issues.

mills    
GA.  |  August, 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM

agreed you couldn't have said it better, plus then you have brokers that have a cooler certifcation qualifying there growers under them that is awful, when they know the smaller growers aren't practicing anything nor washing, tracking there fields, no water test you name it! All this is doing is hurting all of us that is doing things correctly like said it cost us alot of money to keep someone staff just to maintain the Food Safety Programs.. hopefully the retailers will start opening there eyes and make sure there QA's are doing there jobs or even there Food Safety Director As said its unfortunate for anyone to have to go through issues of this nature!

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