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Public Health Focus

Limited Recall of Cantaloupe (Due to Salmonella)

Introduction

On March 21, the Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert regarding entry of cantaloupe from one Honduran company, Agropecuaria Montelibano, following an on-going investigation of a salmonellosis outbreak that began in the United States in January.

A combination of epidemiological information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and traceback analysis by the FDA determined that cantaloupes imported from this particular Honduran company were associated with the outbreak.

The FDA is working collaboratively with Honduran Government officials and Agropecuaria Montelibano to investigate the source of the contamination.

All importers have recalled the cantaloupes they purchased from Agropecuaria Montelibano. FDA is monitoring the recalls and continuing to work with other firms that had processed the cantaloupes to remove all potentially contaminated products from the market.

Cantaloupes imported to the United States from other countries and from other Honduran companies may still enter the U.S. as before. Only cantaloupe originating from Agropecuaria Montelibano should be discarded.

 

Update on the FDA Investigation in Honduras

May 6, 2008: Honduran firm Agropecuaria Montelíbano continues to work to improve its FOOD-safety controls over its growing and packing operations to minimize the potential for contamination of cantaloupes. The firm has provided the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the U.S. Department of Health And Human Services (HHS) with documentation of its corrective actions made through April 2008. However, after review of the documentation submitted, the measures implemented to date do not appear to adequately prevent the risk of contamination. HHS/FDA continues to work with the firm by providing a detailed review of the corrective measures, including specific comment on the areas that still need improvement.

On March 21, 2008, HHS/FDA issued an Import Alert on Agropecuaria Montelíbano after epidemiological and trace-back investigations linked cantaloupes from that company to a Salmonellosis outbreak in the United States, with 51 illnesses confirmed in 16 States.

A multidisciplinary team, which consisted of experts from both HHS/FDA and the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducted an on-site evaluation of Agropecuaria Montelíbano in Honduras.

Agropecuaria U.S. Customs officials and HHS/FDA will continue to detain Agropecuaria Montelíbano's product, without physical examination, when offered for entry into the United States, until HHS/FDA lifts the Import Alert. For HHS/FDA to remove Agropecuaria Montelíbano from the Import Alert, HHS/FDA needs to verify that the firm has taken the corrective measures necessary to ensure that it is growing, processing and transporting cantaloupes in a way that does not cause the melons to appear to be adulterated, that its product meets U.S. standards for food safety, and that, specifically, its cantaloupes do not contain Salmonella.

Archived Updates on the FDA Investigation in Honduras

 

What Cantaloupes Have Been Recalled?

 

News Updates

 

Tips for Consumers

  • The FDA advises consumers who have recently bought cantaloupes to check with the place of purchase to determine if the fruit came from this specific grower and packer. If so, consumers should throw away the cantaloupes.

 

What Is FDA Doing?

  • FDA has issued an import alert to detain all cantaloupes shipped to the United States from this company.
  • FDA has contacted importers and is advising U.S. grocers, food service operators, and produce processors to remove from their stock any cantaloupes from this company.
  • FDA continues to investigate this outbreak in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state partners. Such intervention is a key component of FDA's Food Protection Plan.
  • How the FDA Works to Keep Produce Safe

 

Information About Salmonella

 

How Do I Report a Cantaloupe Complaint?