Watermelon Recall Issued By Farm Linked to Recalled Cantaloupes

An Indiana farm that was linked to to a deadly salmonella outbreak from cantaloupes, which caused hundreds of cases of food poisoning throughout the United States, has now recalled watermelons due to a potential risk of salmonella contamination. 

Indiana health officials spotted the contamination in watermelons grown by Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc. during an investigation into the source of the cantaloupe contamination, causing the farm to issue a watermelon recall.

The strain detected in the watermelons is not the same strain as that involved in the cantaloupe recall, according to health investigators. Instead, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts indicate that the salmonella strain was the same as one of three strains linked to a salmonella outbreak that was believed to have been spread by live poultry, which has sickened 163 people from 26 states.

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Chamberlain Farms has not disclosed where the watermelons were distributed over the last growing season but Schnucks, Logli, and Hilander grocery stores in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana have all ceased the sale of watermelons as a precautionary measure.

Schnucks grocery store announced the watermelon recall late last week and noted that the recalled watermelons outside of Indiana can be identified by a sticker showing “Indian Hills – Product of USA”. Consumers should return the watermelons to the store for a full refund.

At the five Schnucks grocery stores in Indiana, watermelons that do not have a sticker should be returned for a full refund.

Department of Health officials announced there have not been any illnesses reported linked to the watermelons and Chamberlain food is working closely with state and federal officials to find the source of this contamination.

The watermelon salmonella problems are not anticipated to be as wide spread as the cantaloupe recall issued on Aug. 21, 2012, that has sickened at least 204 people.

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause severe infection (Salmonellosis) and can result in death in some cases. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. In some cases, the diarrhea is severe enough to require hospitalization.

Photo Courtesy of Kirti Poddar via Flickr/CC2.0

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