Cantaloupe Problem Continues: Can Foods You Produce Be Traced Quickly?

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Cantaloupe Problem Continues: Can Foods You Produce Be Traced Quickly?

Two weeks ago, Chamberlain Farms, a company in southwestern Indiana, was linked to a food poisoning outbreak related to the cantaloupes they produce and distribute across several states in the U.S. Now, Marsh, Meijer, Schnucks and Wal Mart have pulled the potentially contaminated cantaloupes from shelves due to the risk of Salmonella bacteria. Unfortunately, it seems that many consumers are still concerned about whether the supermarkets they shop at carried (or may still be carrying) the affected cantaloupes. Thus far, the U.S. FDA has not provided any information regarding which retailers Chamberlain supplies the cantaloupes to. Phyllis Entis, author and microbiologist, suspects that there are retailers who may be carrying the melons who have not yet been identified. As a leader in industrial traceability, we wonder whether a system is in place to track and trace the melons. Wal Mart began pulling the cantaloupes from shelves after managers began receiving instructions to pull and discard the melons the day the outbreak was announced; so far, three people have become ill after eating cantaloupes purchased at Wal Mart. Entis admitted that they still were not sure where all of the cantaloupes were sold, or who all of the wholesalers are. It isn't known whether any of the melons may have gone in to the manufacturing of salads or other products. Other retailers are getting in on the news, publicly making statements so that consumers know the cantaloupes they sell did not come from Indiana. These retailers include Valu Market, Kroger, Publix, Lucky Supermarkets and Paul's Fruit Market. Two of the victims who became ill after eating cantaloupes purchased at Wal Mart have filed lawsuits. News reports claim that so far, the Salmonella cantaloupe outbreak has sickened 178 people across 21 states. Two people in Kentucky have died, and as many as 62 had to be hospitalized. Tim Chamberlain of Chamberlain Farms does not believe that his farm is the origin of the contamination, but is waiting on results of further testing being performed in public health laboratories. Will your company ever experience this kind of nightmare? Hopefully not, as it could mean the ruin of your reputation, and essentially your business. Markem-Imaje supplies reliable traceability systems to food and beverage manufacturers around the world.

January 10, 2014
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