Salmonella Contamination in Cantaloupes Continues
The number of people sickened by cantaloupes contaminated with salmonella continues to grow. So how does cantaloupe become contaminated in the first place?
The CDC says two people in Kentucky have died and 141 people in 20 states have been sickened by salmonella-contaminated cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana. Haley Oliver, food microbiologist at the Center for Food Safety Engineering at Purdue University, says the circumstances have to be right for salmonella to spread among produce.
Oliver says salmonella doesn't move by itself from melon to melon. She says it has to move through water or through contact with a surface or soil that's already contaminated, such as manure that hasn't been properly composted being used as fertilizer.
Oliver says the best way to avoid contamination is to use good agricultural practices. She says typically, fresh produce goes through a washing process that gets rid of low-level amounts of something like salmonella.
MORE FROM WIBC NEWS:
» Health Officials Investigating Salmonella Outbreak in Cantaloupes (8-17-12)