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Burch Equipment LLC Corrects Cantaloupe Variety Subject to Recall

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By David Liu PHD

Sunday Aug 5, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Burch Equipment LLC, North Carolina released a press release August 3, 2012 to announce that it is correcting the variety of cantaloupe involved in recalls initiated on July 28 and August 2, 2012.  In previous announcements the company mistakenly identified the cantaloupes as being the Athena variety.  The cantaloupes subject to the recall are the Caribbean Gold variety, but not Athena cantaloupes. 

The firm voluntarily recalled 580 cases of cantaloupes on July 28, and on Aug 2 voluntarily expand the recall to include an additional 13,888 cases of cantaloupes (9 cantaloupes per case) and 581 bins of cantaloupes (110 cantaloupes per bin), due to the potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall affected a total of 188,902 melons.

Listeria monocytogenes is a microorganism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems such cancer and HIV/AIDS patients whose treatment has weakened their immunity.  Pregnant women are also at high risk because the microbe can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.  Healthy people may suffer symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, bu they should recover from the foodborne illness quickly without any serious consequences.

The whole Caribbean Gold variety cantaloupes being recalled were shipped between July 15th and July 27th and distributed in states including FL, GA, IL, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC and VA.  The whole cantaloupes carry a red label reading Burch Farms referencing PLU # 4319. All cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms, but some affected 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 (110 cantaloupes per bin).

Burch Equipment LLC is asking any consumer who has any recalled cantaloupes to discard the product.

No illnesses have been reported to date.  Food Drug Administration 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 initiated on Aug 2 was due to packing conditions that may allow for contamination of cantaloupes with Listeria  monocytogenes.

Consumers who have any questions may contact Burch Equipment LLC at 910-267-5781 Monday through Friday, (9:00am to 4:00pm) or via email burch@intrstar.net. (The report is based on a press release by Burch Equipment)

Burch Farms Canatloupe Label

Burch Farms cantaloupe label

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