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Del Monte Recalls Cantaloupes Because Of Possible Salmonella Panama Contamination

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Washington, DCDel Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. (“Del Monte Fresh”) of Coral Gables, Florida is recalling 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes, each containing 4 plastic mesh sleeves with 3 cantaloupes per sleeve, because they have the potential to 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. 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 arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The cantaloupes were distributed through warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

The recalled products consist of cartons of cantaloupes, each containing 4 plastic beige mesh sleeves each sealed with a plastic orange handle with the Del Monte Logo and indication “3 count, Product of Guatemala” with 3 cantaloupes per sleeve and were available for sale between the 10th of March and the 21st of March, 2011. The cantaloupes, grown in and shipped from Del Monte Freshs’ farm Asuncion Mita in Guatemala, have a light brown color skin on the exterior, with orange flesh. 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 FDA that there is 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 their investigation as to what, including whether the Company’s product, caused the problem.

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