Posted by Admin | Posted in Food Safety, Foodborne Illness, FYI, In the News, Listeria, Salmonella | Posted on 25-06-2013
It’s that time of year, and with shifting tan lines and holiday line-ups comes my favorite summer change—it’s melon season. Bye-bye, oranges, and hello, cantaloupe. But the cantaloupe seasons of the last couple years have brought more than affordable deliciousness; unfortunately, deadly outbreaks of foodborne illness (in these cases, Listeria and Salmonella poisoning) were linked to cantaloupe in both 2011 and 2012, sickening more than 400 people and claiming thirty-six lives altogether.
News isn’t all bad, though: the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board (CCAB), which “produces 75 percent of all cantaloupes sold in the United States” according to the Western Farm Press, has adopted a new mandatory food safety program. Steve Patricio, the chairman of the CCAB, reveals that this new program “requires government audits of all cantaloupe production activities…including growing, harvesting, packing and cooling” of the melons. The CCAB hopes to ensure that consumers can buy California cantaloupes with confidence and security.
But don’t take my word for it. Visit the CCAB’s new website, which allows the public to view all of the organization’s new safety standards. The website also includes helpful features such as nutrition facts and recommendations for safe selection, storage, and preparation of cantaloupe by consumers. (Who knew that tapping is unnecessary to determine the quality of a cantaloupe? Myths my mother taught me….)