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More Than 99% of Whole Cantaloupe Samples Negative for Salmonella

Food Safety Action Plan targeted survey

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/04/14 -- Canadian Food Inspection Agency

As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a study released today found that 99.8 per cent of whole cantaloupe samples tested negative for the presence of Salmonella.

A total of 499 whole cantaloupe samples were collected and tested for Salmonella bacteria, which can cause a serious illness with long-lasting effects. One sample was found to be unsatisfactory due to the presence of Salmonella. The CFIA initiated a food safety investigation as a result of this unsatisfactory result, which led to a product recall (currently available at Library and Archives Canada). No illnesses associated with the consumption of any of this product were reported.

The CFIA has identified cantaloupes as one of the priority commodity groups of fresh fruits and vegetables for enhanced surveillance. This targeted survey focused on Salmonella and represents part of the collection of over 3,500 cantaloupe samples over five years (2008/2009 - 2012/2013). The CFIA continues its surveillance activities and will make public its findings when available.

The overall finding of this survey suggests that the vast majority of cantaloupes in the Canadian market are produced and handled under good agricultural and manufacturing practices. However, cantaloupe contamination with Salmonella could sporadically occur. Consumers should follow these safety tips when choosing to purchase and consume cantaloupes and other melons at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.

Quick Facts

--  Cantaloupes can become contaminated with pathogens in production,
    harvest, post-harvest handling, processing and distribution.
--  The presence of pathogens in cantaloupes creates potential risk for
    foodborne illnesses as cantaloupes are consumed raw.
--  Once contaminated, the bacteria can be difficult to remove due to the
    rough surface of the melon which provides areas for bacterial attachment
    and protection from sanitization.

Related Products

2010-2011 Salmonella in Cantaloupes - Executive Summary

Associated Links

Chemical Residues / Microbiology Targeted Surveys

Contacts:
Michael Bolkenius
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
613-773-6600

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