CDC Confirms Indiana Farm Source of Deadly Salmonella

August 29, 2012

2 Min Read
CDC Confirms Indiana Farm Source of Deadly Salmonella

WASHINGTON and ATLANTAThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that samples of cantaloupe collected at Chamberlain Farms in Owensville, Ind., match the DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella strain responsible for the recent outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium that has sickened 178 people and killed two people in 21 states.

On Aug. 22, Chamberlain Farms recalled cantaloupes shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin, but warned the melons could have been distributed to more states. The company urged consumers not to eat, and to discard, cantaloupe from the farm. On Aug. 23, FDA formally named Chamberlain Farms as the possible source of contamination, but lab analyses were not completed until Aug. 28.

From Aug. 14 to 16, FDA investigators collected samples from surface areas at the farm, as well as samples of cantaloupe at Chamberlain Farms. Samples of cantaloupe collected at Chamberlain Farms show the presence of Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria with a DNA fingerprint that matches the outbreak strain.

Among 121 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from July 7, 2012, to Aug. 9, 2012. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 100 years, with a median age of 48 years. Sixty-two people have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported in Kentucky.

Cantaloupes have not had a good August. Earlier this month Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina recalled Caribbean Gold melons to include all of this growing season's cantaloupes and honeydew melons because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall involved cantaloupes and honeydew melons sold to distributors between June 23 and July 27, 2012, in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia. The melons may have further been distributed to retail stores, restaurants and foodservice facilities in other states.

Just last summer, cantaloupes were the cause of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that resulted in the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in more than 25 years. According to the CDC, 30 people died and 133 persons in 26 states were sickened with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes linked to whole cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms production fields in Granada, Colo. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.


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