News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

August 22, 2012

Cantaloupe caution: Melon scare hits farmers

Despite illnesses, Valley consumers still have confidence in producers

OAKTOWN — Cantaloupe sales were down but not out Tuesday at Sandy Ridge Market, a large fresh fruit stand on U.S. 41 just over the Sullivan County line into Knox County.

National attention has turned to southwest Indiana cantaloupe growers amid reports that salmonella poisoning linked to the region’s cantaloupes has claimed the lives of two Kentuckians and hospitalized or sickened dozens more people in 20 states.

Indiana health officials on Friday issued an advisory telling Hoosiers to discard any cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana purchased on or after July 7. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also advised consumers to pitch any cantaloupe that may have come from that area.

While this has hurt sales at Sandy Ridge, it has not stopped them completely.

Sales have been “hurt a little” by the outbreak, said Mike Dodds, who was working at the market Tuesday afternoon. However, Dodds is very confident in the Sandy Ridge cantaloupe, which is grown nearby in Oaktown. He sliced a large, ripe cantaloupe and took a taste to prove his point.

“A lot of people are still buying them,” Dodds said. “We haven’t had any problems.”

Still, consumers are understandably worried, and cantaloupe sales are suffering. Some southwest Indiana growers have seen large retailers, such as Walmart, cancel whole orders.

“How can you not?” said Carol Hubbell of Linton when asked whether she had any concerns about cantaloupe. She and her husband, Jim, were shopping for fresh fruit at Sandy Ridge on their way home Tuesday afternoon.

The melons, including watermelon, sold at Sandy Ridge are grown at the small family farm owned by Sam and Patty Williams of Oaktown. Their melons were inspected in July and found to be fine, Patty said. In fact, she and her family have been eating the farm’s cantaloupe on a regular basis and are confident there is no salmonella contamination on their fruit.

“We have eaten them all summer and we’re fine,” Patty said. “I know it’s a scare, and I understand that.”

Some growers and sellers interviewed Wednesday speculated that the problem might be linked to how some cantaloupe is handled on its way to large retailers.

Williams advises anyone purchasing fruit of any kind to always wash it before cutting it or eating it. Salmonella can live on the skin of a cantaloupe, and contamination can take place when a knife passes through the skin and into the fruit, according to health officials.

Meanwhile, consumer advocacy groups are asking federal officials to release the name of an Indiana farm that recalled its cantaloupes as the outbreak was being investigated. However, health officials have provided no further information about the farm and say they are still working to pinpoint the exact source of the salmonella.

Indiana is one of the nation’s largest producers of cantaloupe, mostly grown in the state’s southwest, according to the USDA.

At Sandy Ridge, some customers seemed confident in the stand’s fruit Tuesday.

“We’ve been buying their stuff for over 30 years,” said Connie Shafer of Illinois, who was picking up a truckload of watermelons from Sandy Ridge and said she may also buy cantaloupe. “We buy from Sam and Patty because their [fruits] have always been good.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point'
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News