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FDA Cantaloupe Warning

Gio Mar 22, 2008 09:40 AM

The FDA has issued a warning regarding eating cantaloupe from a certain South American company. People from 16 states and Canada have become ill and some have been hospitalized after eating the melons. Here's the link to the Boston Globe article which names the company and the warning:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/was...

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  1. alkapal Mar 22, 2008 10:05 AM

    thanks, gio. had not heard!

    1. alkapal Mar 30, 2008 03:27 AM

      anyone hear any more? i see cantaloupes are on sale at my local giant... should i?

      3 Replies
      1. re: alkapal
        Gio Mar 30, 2008 05:45 AM

        That article does site some guidlines for buying and preparing cantaloupe. The Honduran company is mentioned. I wish more information would be forthcoming with these advisories regarding specific lots, etc.

        Unfortunately I cannot eat cantaloupe, much as I like it. I get that scary tickle in my throat and itchy rashes.

        1. re: Gio
          alkapal Mar 31, 2008 09:30 AM

          hmmm. better to avoid it! do other melons affect you similarly, gio?

          btw, i used to have a kitty cat that LOVED, loved, loved (did i say loved) cantaloupe -- even to the point of chewing not only the flesh but gnawing on the rind! cat also liked garbanzos and spaghetti sauce. i miss her!

          1. re: alkapal
            buttertart Apr 1, 2008 10:16 AM

            We had a wonderful cat who would not eat any people food whatsoever except Vivoli's (Berkeley, CA gelateria) canteloupe ice cream. No canteloupe, though.

      2. Sam Fujisaka Mar 31, 2008 09:37 AM

        Thank you, GIO. Living in South America, I must mention that the contaminated canteloupes come from Honduras in Central America. Does make me wonder about our canteloupes, however.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          Gio Mar 31, 2008 10:14 AM

          Sam: It's curious how many food stuffs imported by the U.S. and yes, even here in the states, have to be recalled these days. I suppose it's because of more reporting by many agencies.

          Alkapal: It's only cantaloupe that causes such a reaction. Strange, hmmmm?

        2. v
          Vshu Mar 31, 2008 10:12 AM

          I remember learning in a food safety class that in salad bars, the culprit for salmonella lies more in the cut melons than in the other items, like tuna or egg salad. For as long as I have remembered, I have always thoroughly cleaned the outside of all melons (and fruit, for that matter) before cutting into them. Perhaps this is a practice of my parents, who came from Taiwan and there, they don't trust the skins on any fruit (my aunt peels her grapes!).

          Like Gio, however, I am also allergie to canteloupe, so I don't eat it, but my husband loves melon, so I do get it for him.

          1. dave_c Mar 31, 2008 11:45 AM

            Thanks for the heads-up.

            The local supermarket has cantaloupes on sale. I'll check the sticker to see where the melon originated.

            The articles implies it's surface contamination versus being in the melon itself.

            1. QueenPeach Apr 2, 2008 12:51 PM

              My SO got sick recently and had food poisoning symptoms. We ate the exact same foods the entire day except for pieces of cantaloupe we ate from a fruit salad (I don't like cantaloupes). I wonder if this was it...

              1. Chew on That Apr 2, 2008 01:48 PM

                Good to know! Thanks for passing this along. I read a poll on mealsmatter.org yesterday about how cantaloupe can carry food borne illness but I didn't realize how newsworthy it was!

                1. a
                  activdot Aug 11, 2009 01:38 PM

                  Maybe the suspect cantaloupes contained the bacteria salmonella or possibly the illnesses were caused by the chemicals and fungicides sprayed on the cantaloupes. I bought a cantaloupe (from Guatemala) that tasted like gasoline. Had it analysed by the CT Agricultural Experiment Station. The results of analysis were: thiamethoxam&metabolites;metalaxyl; thiabendazole; chlorothalonil&metabolites; carbendazim or thiophenate methyl. All below harmful limits.

                  1. e
                    Ebriana Oct 4, 2011 10:46 PM

                    Cantaloupes polluted with listeria are just probably the most recent incident of customers being sold impure food in the U.S.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ebriana
                      alkapal Oct 5, 2011 06:53 AM

                      listeria is "new" as a contaminant for cantaloupes. they are investigating the cause.

                      ebriana, do other nations not have any problems with these kinds of issues? do you have special knowledge, or rather, what motivated you enough to make this your initial foray onto this esteemed discussion thread from three and a half years ago?

                      1. re: Ebriana
                        a
                        acgold7 Oct 5, 2011 11:19 AM

                        Wasn't the whole Sprouts and Spinach thing from earlier in the year from the EU?

                        Isn't the original post about contaminated food from South America? And isn't much contaminated produce often traced to Mexico? This is clearly an international issue.

                        Not sure what point you are trying to make.

                        1. re: Ebriana
                          ipsedixit Oct 5, 2011 09:47 PM

                          What is "impure food"?

                        2. EWSflash Oct 5, 2011 07:51 PM

                          Is the problem with the skin? I remember during the first canteloupe poisoning scare they told us that the contamination was with the outside getting to the flesh when it was cut, and a quick soak in a bleach solution before cutting into it would render the problem null. Not sure now if it was the truth, but is that also the current thinking about the listeria?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: EWSflash
                            a
                            acgold7 Oct 5, 2011 09:40 PM

                            I was talking to a food-safety expert about this the other night, as the various articles on the subject haven't been specific about this. Yes, it is on the skin only, and yes, the bleach solution will take care of it.

                            1. re: acgold7
                              EWSflash Oct 6, 2011 08:48 PM

                              Thank you very much.

                            2. re: EWSflash
                              John E. Oct 6, 2011 06:35 PM

                              I remember reading several years ago that the webbing on cantelope traps bacteria and that with amount of, ahem, 'organic' fertilizer used in Latin American farm fields (and also apparently in eastern Colorado) catelope is one of the more easily contaminated fruits. I don't especially like cantelope so we don't eat it much, but every time I slice into one I think about how I should spray it with a bleach solution, wait, rinse, and then let the melon dry before cutting into it. Of course I've never gone to that effort. Maybe next time.

                              1. re: John E.
                                rockandroller1 Oct 20, 2011 10:53 AM

                                "FDA advises consumers not to eat the recalled cantaloupes and to throw them away. Do not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the cantaloupe. Cutting, slicing and dicing may also transfer harmful bacteria from the fruit’s surface to the fruit’s flesh."

                                1. re: rockandroller1
                                  John E. Dec 10, 2011 02:08 PM

                                  So is the only solution to not eat canteloope?

                            3. alkapal Oct 19, 2011 11:50 AM

                              http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/CO...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: alkapal
                                Gio Oct 19, 2011 12:14 PM

                                Great find Alkapal... many thanks for the link.

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