Company Recalls Cantaloupes over Salmonella Contamination

February 26, 2007

A wholesale produce importer has recalled several thousand cartons of cantaloupes from Costa Rica after some tested positive for salmonella.

Castle Produce said the recall covered roughly 2,560 cartons of cantaloupes delivered on or after Feb. 16 to wholesalers in Los Angeles and San Francisco for distribution in the western states.

The cantaloupes were distributed for sale in bulk in cardboard cartons, with nine, 12 or 15 melons to a carton.

There have been no reports of illness due to the contaminated cantaloupes, said Steven Reynolds, the company’s chief financial officer. He said he didn’t know whether the fruit had reached any stores.

Reynolds said the source of the salmonella was a plastic basket used to hold the cantaloupes after they are harvested and washed.

The Dole Fresh Fruit Co. on Feb. 16 recalled about 6,100 cartons of cantaloupes distributed to wholesalers in the eastern United States and Quebec between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8. The cantaloupes also were imported from Costa Rica and tested positive for salmonella.

Reynolds said Castle Produce’s fruit came from the same grower. Dole spokeswoman Marianne Duong said she could not confirm this.

Salmonella, which commonly originates from the feces of birds and animals, can cause diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting.

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