Burch Farms and Cottle Strawberry Cantaloupes Recall

Date: July 28, 2012
Updated: August 3, 2012
What: Burch Farms Cantaloupes
Cottle Strawberry, Inc. Cantaloupes
Why: Listeria monocytogenes contamination
Scope: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia

Burch Equipment of North Carolina is correcting the variety of cantaloupe involved in recalls initiated on July 28 and August 2, 2012. Previous announcements incorrectly identified the cantaloupes as being the Athena variety. The cantaloupes affected by the recall are the Caribbean Gold variety.

Athena cantaloupes are not subject to the recall.

Today’s announcement is not an expansion of the recall; no additional products are being recalled at this time.

Burch Equipment recalled 580 cases of cantaloupes on July 28 and recalled an additional 13,888 cases of cantaloupes (9 cantaloupes per case) and 581 bins of cantaloupes (110 cantaloupes per bin) on August 2, due to the potential for being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Melons affected by this recall total 188,902.

The recall expansion was based on unsanitary conditions found at the cantaloupe packing shed during FDA’s ongoing inspection that may allow for contamination of cantaloupes with Listeria monocytogenes.

The whole Caribbean Gold variety cantaloupes were shipped between July 15th and July 27th and distributed in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

The whole cantaloupes are identified by a red label reading Burch Farms referencing PLU # 4319. All cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms, however some of the cantaloupes may have been identified with a "Cottle Strawberry, Inc." sticker referencing PLU #4319. Cottle Farms is not involved in this recall. Cantaloupes from Burch Farms were shipped in both corrugated boxes (9 cantaloupe per case) and in bulk bins.

There have been no illnesses reported to date.

Burch Equipment is requesting any consumer that may have one of these cantaloupes to discard the product. Questions can be directed to Burch Equipment at (910) 267-5781, Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or email to burch@intrstar.net.

Consumers with questions about food safety can Ask Heidi, a certified food safety professional.