08/16/12 — Local cantaloupes recalled

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Local cantaloupes recalled

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 16, 2012 1:46 PM

FAISON -- Burch farms near Faison is recalling all this growing season's cantaloupes and honeydew melons that might still be on the market because they might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no illnesses reported to date, but officials said they do not want to take any chances.

Food Lion has pulled cantaloupe from 463 Food Lion and Reid's throughout the Southeast because of the potential danger.

In North Carolina, 234 Food Lion stores, mostly in the Charlotte and High Point-Greensboro-Winston-Salem areas are affected.

Federal officials say the cantaloupes affected by the recall are the Caribbean Gold variety.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals might suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, the length of time between consuming a product and becoming ill for Listeria monocytogenes can be from one week to nearly two months.

The whole cantaloupes are identified by a red label reading Burch Farms. All cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms. But some might be marked with a "Cottle Strawberry Inc." sticker although none were grow by Cottle Farms.

Honeydew melons involved in this recall expansion do not bear any identifying stickers and were packed in cartons labeled melons.

State agriculture officials say consumers who bought the honeydew melons should contact the store where they purchased their melons to find out whether the melons are part of the recall.

The company first voluntarily recalled 580 cases of cantaloupes on July 28, and later recalled an additional 125,000 on Aug. 2. Melons affected by this recall total 188,902.

The cantaloupes and honeydew melons involved in the recall were sold to distributors between June 23 and July 27 in 18 states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and West Virginia. Melons also might have been distributed to retail stores, restaurants and food service facilities in other states.

Questions can be directed to Burch Equipment LLC at 1-910-267-5781 Monday through Friday or by emailing burch@intrstar.net.