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UPDATED: North Carolina Cantaloupe Recalled Due to Listeria Fears

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Burch Equipment LLC, 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.

The firm voluntarily recalled 580 cases of cantaloupes on July 28, and voluntarily 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. Melons affected by this recall total 188,902.

Listeria monocytogenes is 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.

The whole Caribbean Gold variety cantaloupes were shipped between July 15th and July 27th and distributed in FL, GA, IL, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC and VA. 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.

Burch Equipment LLC is requesting any consumer that may have one of these cantaloupes to discard the product.

There have been no illnesses reported to date. FDA and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are working with Burch Equipment LLC following a random sample of a Caribbean Gold variety cantaloupe testing positive for Listeria monocytogenes. 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.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.   Marler Clark is presently representing 42 victims and their families in the 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria cantaloupe outbreak.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.