A cantaloupe related salmonella outbreak that has killed two people and sickened dozens of others in 20 states has been linked to an Indiana melon farm, agricultural officials report. Indiana officials haven’t released the name of the farm, to the consternation of food safety advocates who argue that withholding the name puts American consumers at risk.
The salmonella outbreak comes a year after a cantaloupe farm in Colorado was linked to a deadly listeria outbreak that killed 30 and sickened hundreds across the country. The Colorado incident was the worst outbreak of a foodborne illness in American history. While the Indiana outbreak has not been as devastating, some farm officials are worried that it will adversely affect cantaloupe sales.
Indiana is the fourth largest cantaloupe producer in the nation.
While farm officials have recommended that consumers throw out melons from southwest Indiana purchased after July 7, many consumer advocacy groups are worried that the illness may not yet be contained. They argue that releasing the name of the farm in question would protect consumers.
“When you have people who are getting sick and hospitalized and even dying, in my opinion as a consumer advocate, that takes precedence,” said an official at the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention. “You need to give people the information they need to make informed decisions for their families.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer