CINCINNATI - The FDA says listeria concerns are the reason for an expanded food recall or cantaloupes.
Officials say 188,902 cantaloupes are being recalled after federal health inspectors found unsanitary conditions at a cantaloupe packing company in North Carolina. The FDA says cantaloupes that were shipped from Burch Equipment LLC between July 15 and July 27 are being recalled due to the potential for being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On Friday, Burch Equipment LLC expanded the recall that was first initiated on July 28.
According to the FDA, the recalled cantaloupes were not shipped to any grocery stores in the Tri-State. The cantaloupes in question were distributed in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
The recall affects Athena variety cantaloupes that have a red label reading Burch Farms referencing PLU # 4319. All cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms, however some of the cantaloupes may have been identified with a "Cottle Strawberry, Inc." sticker referencing PLU #4319. Cottle Farms is not involved in this recall.
Burch Equipment LLC is voluntarily recalling the cantaloupes, and requesting that consumers who may have one of these cantaloupes to discard the product.
"Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women," according to the FDA.
The voluntary recall from from Burch Equipment LLC comes nearly a year after one of the deadliest food-borne illness outbreaks in U.S. history. In September and October 2011, contaminated cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado sickened 146 people. Federal health officials say at least 30 people died from eating the contaminated cantaloupes.
The FDA says there have been no illnesses reported in connection with the recalled cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC. The FDA and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are continuing to investigate the facility. The FDA says a random sample of an Athena variety cantaloupe testing positive for Listeria monocytogenes at the cantaloupe packing company.
Questions can be directed to Burch Equipment LLC at 910 267 5781 Monday through Friday, (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or email email@example.com .
For more information you can visit the FDA website at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm314213.htm
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