270 sick, 3 dead; more recalls; how can melons do this?

Sorenne and I like the cantaloupe; Amy, not so much. We also like the watermelon; Amy, not so much.

So it’s somewhat distressing to hear of the various Salmonella problems in some of our favorite melons.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control today noted that 270 people have been infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium (240 persons) andSalmonella Newport (30 persons) linked to cantaloupe in 26 states from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. of Owensville, Indiana.

Chamberlain Farms has also pulled its watermelons from the market after Salmonella was found on one of those fruits.

Grocery chain Schnucks says it removed Chamberlain watermelons from its stores after being contacted by the grower.

In unrelated news, DFI Marketing Inc. of Fresno, CA is voluntarily recalling cantaloupe after Salmonella was found on a single sample during routine testing conducted at a wholesale produce distribution center (terminal market) as part of a USDA testing program.

Through the company’s comprehensive recall and trace back systems, it has been determined the suspected cantaloupes include approximately 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product. The cantaloupes are packed in 6, 9, 12, 15, or 18 cantaloupes per carton. Specific information on how to identify the product: All cantaloupes are packed in a DFI brand carton and the following is stamped in black on the carton “826 CALIFORNIA WESTSIDE.”

Florida Today reports 11 years have passed since Dana Dziadul nearly died from eating cantaloupe tainted with salmonella and now the 14-year-old has become a poster child for the food safety campaign with her face appearing in national “Stop foodborne illness” advertisements. She has spoken to Congress and was a major advocate for the “Food Safety Modernization Act,” which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.

Dana has shared her story with chefs at Disney World and Publix supermarket food safety experts. On Friday, she will talk at a regional food safety meeting in Orlando.

For Dana, the story began at a nice restaurant near her Connecticut home when she was 3. She’d eaten cantaloupe imported from Mexico, which gave her Salmonella Poona blood poisoning. As a result, she continues to suffer from reactive arthritis.