Del Monte recalls cantaloupes possibly contaminated with Salmonella

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Officials warned consumers today about potentially contaminated melons sold in several states, including Washington and Oregon.

Del Monte Fresh Produce, Inc. of North America, known as "Del Monte Fresh," is voluntarily recalling 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes, each containing four plastic mesh sleeves with three cantaloupes per sleeve.

The melons may be contaminated with Salmonella Panama, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The Florida-based company distributed the fruit through warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The handles on the mesh sleeves are orange and have the Del Monte logo and indicate "3 count, Product of Guatemala."

These were available for sale between March 10-21. The cantaloupes, grown in and shipped from Del Monte Freshs' farm in Guatemala, have a light brown color skin. The recalled cartons of cantaloupes are dark brown cardboard with the "Del Monte" logo in red lettering and "cantaloupes" in yellow lettering on a green background. The cantaloupes have the lot codes: 02-15-24-10, 02-15-25-10, 02-15-26-10 and 02-15-28-10.

This cantaloupe recall is being implemented following a notification from the Food and Drug Administration of an epidemiologic link between the cantaloupes and approximately 12 reported cases of Salmonella Panama. Del Monte Fresh has put on hold the production and distribution of the product from the affected farm. The FDA and the company will continue an investigation.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella Panama often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella Panama can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as blood vessel infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

Consumers who believe that they are in possession of uneaten cantaloupe affected by this recall should return it to the place of purchase for a refund and for more information may contact 1-800-659-6500.

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