One of the most common causes of food poisoning in the country is salmonella. It can cause fever, diarrhea, cramps and in some cases (most often with young children and the elderly) it can lead to death. A variety of foods can be contaminated most often being raw meat, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy, but salmonella can also taint fruits and vegetables. Indiana is the fourth highest producer of cantaloupe in the nation, and an Indiana farm has come under fire in recent months after salmonella-infected melons were linked to it after an outbreak sickened hundreds.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected Chamberlain Farm Produce after tracing contaminated melons back to the southwest Indiana melon growers. On August 23rd the farm recalled all of its cantaloupes from the 2012 season. It was advised that all consumers should throw away any cantaloupes grown at Chamberlain that were bought after July 7 until the investigation concludes.
A federal inspection into the farm found two strains of salmonella and unclean conditions at their fruit-packing plant. They found improperly cleaned equipment, as well as ‘porous food contact surfaces, including carpet and wood,’ a breeding ground for disease. Rust and corrosion was also found on equipment along the processing line, and water that had stood long enough to collect algae was found on the floor.
“Who Was Injured by the Salmonella Outbreak?”
The contaminated farm was the cause of at least some of the summer’s outbreak which made nearly 270 people sick across 26 states. The cases were severe enough to hospitalize 101 people and even took the lives of three sickened in the state of Kentucky.
An attorney who had won $4.5 million for a client who fell ill from contaminated food in a previous case stated, ‘This recall should have happened as soon as there was any indication that cantaloupes grown by Chamberlain Farm Produce caused illness.’
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Source. CBSnews.com, ‘http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57512532-10391704/indiana-farm-implicated-in-cantaloupe-salmonella-outbreak-recalls-watermelons/,’ September 13, 2012.
Source. CBS12.com, ‘http://www.cbs12.com/template/inews_wire/wires.national/264ac27e-www.cbs12.com.shtml,’ October 3, 2012.
Source. Huffington Post, ‘http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/chamberlain-farms-indiana-cantaloupes-salmonella_n_1824550.html#slide=more236040,’ August 23, 2012.
Source. Courier Press, ‘http://www.courierpress.com/news/2012/oct/03/fda-report-finds-poor-sanitary-practices-farm-link/,’ Susan Orr, October 3, 2012.