Wednesday, August 1, 2012
AGAIN - CANTALOUPES WITH LISTERIA
Now it's cantaloupes. Last saturday Burch Farms of North Carolina announced a recall of Athena cantaloupes because Listeria monocytogenes had been found in them. Now Hannaford Supermarkets, which is based in Scarborough, Maine, and operates 181 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont is also issuing a recall because they sold this item. The PLU sticker number is 4319. By the way, if you remember your PLU numbers, those beginning with "4" (or with 3) means they are conventionally grown - not organic.
And don't be surprised that dangerous bacteria can turns up in healthy cataloupes. This isn't the first time by any means. Although it is much more common to find Salmonella, Listeria did crop up in cataloupes (from Jensen Farms, Colorado) last year. They triggered what the CDC termed the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S in 10 years. Illnesses occurred in 28 states and the death toll was close to 30.
Let's hope this one will not be as bad. Anyone who is older, has a weak immune system, or is pregnant should avoid those wonderful delicious cantaloupes for a while, even those from other farms or stores, just to be safe. As we know by now, these types of outbreaks have a nasty habit of expanding.
To your good health,
UPDATE: This recall has been expanded.
UPDATE: Burch Farms has issued a correction: the type of canteloupe being recalled is not the Athena variety as earlier stated, but the the Caribbean Gold variety.