FDA names farm in cantaloupe recall

The US Food and Drug Administration identified an Indiana farm believed to be tied to the recent salmonella outbreak in cantaloupe.  The FDA has recalled cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Ind. and has said the farm’s cantaloupe may be one source of contamination in the multi-state outbreak.  Records show the product was shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Chamberlain Farms had previously agreed to withdraw its cantaloupe from distribution, but the FDA said the formal recall will help facilitate that effort and raise awareness.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 178 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella, 62 people have been hospitalized and 2 deaths have been reported in Kentucky.

The FDA investigation into this outbreak continues in order to determine if there are other possible sources of contamination.

Survey: Most willing to pay more for better ‘food safety’

The Pew Charitable Trust—an organization known for its opposition to modern farming methods—has released results of a new poll on government oversight of food safety.

According to Pew, 66 percent of those surveyed support additional funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to carry out new responsibilities related to food safety.  And 74 percent feel it’s worth a one to three percent increase in the cost of food to pay for new safety measures in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law this year.

In addition, 70 percent of those surveyed favor food companies paying an average annual fee of one-thousand dollars to help cover the cost of new FDA food safety activities.

Twenty-one percent of U.S. adults say they worry “a great deal” about food being contaminated with bacteria that makes it unsafe to eat, while 85 percent say the government should be responsible for ensuring that food is safe to eat.

Finding E. coli in beef faster

A study conducted at Purdue University using infrared spectroscopy found the amount of time to detect E. coli in beef could be reduced from the current 48 hours to just one hour.

Conducted by Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science at Purdue, the method also differentiates between strains of E. coli 0157:H7, which means, outbreaks could be tracked more effectively and quickly. The findings were reported in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Illnesses linked to raw milk

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with state agencies in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois is alerting consumers to campylobacteriosis, an illness associated with drinking raw milk.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) at least 12 confirmed cases of the illness have been reported in consumers who drank raw milk that originated from Forest Grove Dairy in Middlebury, Indiana.

Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache and body ache. If consumers of raw milk or food products made from raw milk experience one or more of the symptoms, they should contact their health care provider immediately.