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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Best Advice from Government about Salmonella Cantaloupe – “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Lets start what we do not know as consumers.  We do not know the name of the farm (its somewhere in southern Indiana), nor where the tainted cantaloupe was sold (well, except Walmart).  How helpful is that when you are shopping, or deciding what to feed your family for dinner?

Also, if you were a cantaloupe grower other than this one mentioned by the CDC (not by name), how pissed would you be – especially if you were in southern Indiana:

As a result of the initial investigations by the state health departments in Indiana and Kentucky (Salmonella positive samples of cantaloupe), a farm in southwestern Indiana has contacted its distributors, which reach outside Indiana into other states, and is withdrawing its cantaloupe from the market place. The farm has agreed to cease distributing cantaloupes for the rest of the growing season.

What we do know is that on August 17th the CDC and a variety of states announced that a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 20 states linked to cantaloupe consumption.  31 ill persons have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported in Kentucky.


The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (17), Indiana (13), Iowa (7), Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2).

So, no recall?  Really?  How pissed will people be that get sick after August 17th?  This all seems an odd way to run public health.  I just guess we take the advise:

“When in doubt, throw it out.”

  • There are a lot of people in the food service industry who don’t just throw dropped food out. The food service industry needs to be about the customer, not profits.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    That is great advice, but what regulation is this? It it 1.aabb or 34.2 a? Why all of the secrecy?
    Paul A Schwarz
    December 18, 2011
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

  • Greg Pallaske

    Your article says the distributors are withdrawing the product from the marketplace…. so where is the recall notice?

  • Tamara

    I’m in Chicago and my husband had purchased a cantaloupe a little more than a week ago. He already ate a chunk of it but fortunately hasn’t become ill yet. I’m upset because the cantaloupe has a sticker on it and I want to know how to identify the potentially problematic cantaloupes, but I’m not finding any information anywhere. I totally agree that the things should have simply been recalled, the consumers should not be forced to throw away all of their cantaloupes when 99% of them are fine. And now we don’t want to purchase another one, which is hurting the other growers. Another gross mishandling by the FDA.