1. Chamberlain cantaloupe outbreak

12/28/2012 12:48:00 PM
Fred Wilkinson

Year in Produce 2012The latest in a series of deadly, high-profile cases of foodborne illness linked to fresh produce again pushed food safety and traceability to the top of the industry’s agenda.

Restoring consumer confidence in cantaloupes after the Rocky Ford outbreak in 2011 was the focus of a January closed meeting hosted by the Center for Produce Safety.

The recall of Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe linked to a salmonella outbreak hit other growers hard when customers took a guilt-by-association approach to buying because the specific grower wasn’t named for six days.

Aug. 27
Outbreak linked to Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe
By Coral Beach, Staff Writer

Six days after cantaloupes from southwest Indiana were linked to a multiple-state salmonella outbreak, federal officials revealed Chamberlain Farms as the grower in a recall notice, but details about how many melons were shipped or what retailers received them were not released.

Tim and Mia Chamberlain, owners of Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc., Owensville, Ind., voluntarily began withdrawing cantaloupe from the supply chain Aug. 16, Tim Chamberlain said.

The next day, health officials in Kentucky reported melons from a southwestern Indiana grower had tested positive for the same strain of salmonella that killed two Kentucky residents.

As of Aug. 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had linked the outbreak to 178 people in 21 states and two deaths, all with the same strain of salmonella.

Sept. 3
Chamberlain Farms cantaloupe tests positive for salmonella
By Coral Beach, Staff Writer

Tests on cantaloupes at Chamberlain Farms, Owensville, Ind., showed positive results for the same strain of salmonella that has killed two and sickened 178 people in 21 states, according to federal officials.

The Food and Drug Administration released the cantaloupe results Aug. 28. Inspectors collected the cantaloupes and environmental swab samples from surfaces at the growing and packing operation from Aug. 14-16.

Chamberlain ceased harvesting and began pulling back his fruit from distributors and retailers Aug. 16 after public health officials informed him whole cantaloupes collected at a retail store had tested positive for the specific strain of salmonella that had killed two people in Kentucky.

The FDA said some media reported the agency warned against all Indiana cantaloupes, but Chamberlain Farm cantaloupes are the only ones FDA has identified with the specific strain of salmonella involved in the 21-state outbreak.


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