David Mitchell of The Packer reported “FDA confirms presence of salmonella in melons”
Cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano tested positive for salmonella freetown during the Food and Drug Administration’s traceback investigation of an outbreak of salmonella litchfield. The FDA issued an import alert March 22 after traceback evidence linked product from Honduran grower-shipper Agropecuaria Montelibano with a salmonella litchfield outbreak that caused 50 reported illnesses in 16 states.

FDA spokesman Sebastian Cianci, however, said the agency started to escalate its melon sampling as reports of illnesses increased. The positive test for salmonella freetown was taken from an import sample of Agropecuaria Montelibano’s product on March 12, he said.

The FDA has identified 10 U.S. importers who received cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano during the outbreak:

* Bounty Fresh LLC, Miami, Fla.
* C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.
* Central American Produce Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
* Chiquita Brands International Inc., Cincinnati, Oh.
* Dole Fresh Fruit International, Westlake Village, Calif.
* Legend Produce LLC, Firebaugh, Calif.
* Pero Vegetable Co. LLC, Delray Beach, Fla.
* T.M. Kovacevich International Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
* Tropifresh Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.
* Wuhl Shafman Lieberman Corp., Newark, N.J.

In addition to Chiquita and Dole, brands affected are:

* Chestnut Hill Farms
* Perfect Melon
* Mike’s Melons
* Mayan Pride