Not sure about Listeria – 146 sick with 32 dead.

cantaloupe_frontera.jpgAccording to the USDA, the use of hot water as a method to decontaminate cantaloupe is more effective than various other washing and physical treatments tested to date.  The work presented in a USDA article demonstrates the utility of surface pasteurization to greatly reduce levels of Salmonella from the surfaces of cantaloupes.

In addition, heat penetration analysis coupled with computer simulation of heat transfer indicates that the edible portions of cantaloupes remain cool while the temperature of the rind outer surface elevates rapidly.  This is an added benefit to the use of hot water surface pasteurization. Experiments are currently under way to examine the quality and shelf life of melons exposed to various thermal treatments.

For the entire article the link is: 

Some would certainly say that it is past time for that.  Courtesy of outbreak database, here are reported cantaloupe outbreaks:

Del Monte Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak (2011)

California Restaurant Cantaloupe Outbreak, Norovirus (2008)

Colorado Private Home Cantaloupe and Watermelon Salmonella outbreak (2008)

Agropecuraria Montelibano Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak (2008)

Colorado Cantaloupe Salmonella at Private Home (2007)

Atlantic City Hotel Restaurant Fruit Salad and Green Salad 2007

Grocery Store, Health Care Facility, and Nursing Home Fruit Salad 2006

Colorado Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak (2005)

Utah Private Home Cantaloupe, Barbequed Chicken, Corned Beef 2005

Florida Unknown Location Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Bananas 2003

Multistate Day Care Center or Private Home Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melon 2003

Washington State Church Cantaloupe, Grapes, Watermelon 2002

Susie Cantaloupe Distributed by I. Kunik Company 2002

Oregon Nursing Home or Restaurant Cantaloupe 2001

Viva Brand/Shipley Sales Cantaloupe (2001)

Cantaloupes 2000

Ontario, Canada Cantaloupe 1998

Imported Mexican Cantaloupe 1997

Cantaloupe 1991

Multistate Cantaloupe 1990

Multistate Cut Cantaloupe 1989

Wisconsin Unknown Location Cantaloupe 1985