Listeria monocytogenes contamination found in samples shipped to New York, Maine

Health news WHO & FDA Release News FDA warns consumers not to eat cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina

Story Photo: FDA warns consumers not to eat cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina
FDA warns consumers not to eat cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC of North Carolina

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat whole cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC, of Faison, N.C., because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).


* The company had shipped 580 cases of whole cantaloupes on July 15, which were then distributed to retail stores in New York and Maine.
* Consumers who may have cantaloupes with a red label displaying the words Burch Farms and referencing PLU #4319 should discard them as a precautionary measure.
* Cantaloupes from the North Carolina firm tested positive for L. mono following sampling carried out in New York, as part of sampling conducted through the USDA Microbiological Data Program.
* On July 28, 2012, Burch Equipment LLC issued a voluntary recall of the 580 cases of whole cantaloupes.
* No known illnesses have been reported that are linked to consumption of these cantaloupes.

What are the symptoms of Listeria mono illness?
Listeriosis, caused by L. mono, is typically characterized by fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely, persons without these risk factors can also be affected.

Consumers should also be aware that the incubation period for listeriosis can be 1 to 3 weeks, but may be in the range of 3 to 70 days.

What do consumers need to do?
Consumers who may have cantaloupes should check the fruits tag for a red label reading Burch Farms and referencing PLU #4319, and destroy any product with this identification.

Consumers who think they may have become ill from eating possibly contaminated cantaloupes should consult their health care providers.

Where were the cantaloupes distributed?
The cantaloupes were distributed to retail supermarkets in the states of New York and Maine and it is likely those distributors sent to additional states. Grocery store owners should be aware that the FDA also learned that the cantaloupes were packed into sweet potato cartons.

What is being done about the problem?
FDA is working jointly with state officials in North Carolina, New York and Maine to investigate the cause and scope of the L. mono contamination and to ensure that all cantaloupes with the potential for L. mono contamination are removed from the market. Additionally, a recall has been initiated by Burch Equipment LLC.
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, is advising consumers who purchased Burch Farms cantaloupes from their supermarkets, to not consume these cantaloupes as they have the potential of being contaminated with L. mono.

Who should be contacted?
Consumers with questions about fresh fruit safety may call the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD or email consumer@fda.gov.

The information in this press release reflects the FDAs best efforts to communicate what it has learned from state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Source: FDA Release News

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