California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman today warned people not to eat certain DFI brand cantaloupes because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The Salmonella contamination was identified during routine surveillance tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and to date, no illnesses have been associated with these cantaloupes. DFI Marketing, Inc. of Huron, California, initiated a voluntary recall of 28,000 cartons of bulk cantaloupes after being informed of the Salmonella contamination.
The recalled certain DFI brand cantaloupes were sold between August 27, 2012 and September 10, 2012 at retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Mexico. The cantaloupes were packed in cases of 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 melons under the DFI brand with, 826 stamped on the carton. Individual DFI cantaloupes are affixed with a small sticker that states “DFI, Huron, CA.”
While it is unlikely that many of these recalled cantaloupes are still being sold, CDPH is concerned that consumers may still have some of the recalled cantaloupes in their homes. Consumers in possession of these recalled cantaloupes should discard them or return them to the store of purchase for a refund. Anyone handling the recalled cantaloupes should promptly wash their hands with soap and warm water to ensure they do not become exposed to any Salmonella bacteria that may be present.
The cantaloupes being recalled by DFI Marketing are not related to prior recalls of cantaloupes by Chamberlain Farms in Indiana or Burch Equipment in North Carolina. No other brands of California cantaloupes, other than DFI, are subject to this recall.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea which may be bloody. Most infected people recover within a week. Some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for more severe illness.
CDPH recommends consumers experiencing any ill effects after consuming these products should consult their health care provider. Consumers that observe the product being offered for sale are encouraged to report the activity to the CDPH toll-free complaint line at (800) 495-3232.