The Food and Drug Administration has named a southern Indiana farm that produces cantaloupes as one source of the deadly salmonella outbreak that sickened 178 people and killed two.
The FDA has formally recalled melons from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana, reports AP.
NBC News reports that the administration was under pressure to release the name of the farm that earlier agreed to recall the rest of this year’s cantaloupe crop because of detection of a strain of salmonella Typhimurium.
The FDA said in its statement that the contaminated melons were shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin, although it was likey they ended up elsewhere. Consumers should ask their retailers if the cantaloupe was grown on Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana.
The FDA says consumers should not try to wash the bacteria off the cantalopue since the salmonella can be both inside and outside the fruit. "When in doubt, throw it out," the statement said.
Hubert Etienne, who co-owns Etienne Farms near Washington, Ind., told the Associated Press that his wholesale customers began canceling orders for cantaloupe as soon as last week's advisory was issued.
"It was immediate. The wholesale market just dried up," he said. "It wasn't a big hit for us, but some of the big farmers had to dump all of their cantaloupes. They're losing thousands of dollars a day. I really feel bad for those big growers."
Etienne confirmed that his farm's cantaloupes were tested and found to be free of salmonella, but that they aren't selling well at the farm's market.