Federal food inspectors will start checking cantaloupe farms and other processing facilities throughout the country and here in Colorado for deadly food borne bacteria. As KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, the increased scrutiny is in direct response to two large-scale outbreaks.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Both outbreaks were tied directly to tainted cantaloupe. Salmonella on melons from Indiana and listeria on some from Colorado killed 36 people. The repercussions were felt by cantaloupe growers throughout the country, including Michael Hirakata in Colorado’s Arkansas River valley.

“There was so much uncertainty, we didn’t know if we were even going to grow cantaloupe anymore.”

Since the 2011 outbreak, farmers like Hirakata have taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Within the past year, he changed the way he washes the melons and hired a full-time food safety manager. Federal inspectors will soon see the changes up close at melon farms in 15 states.

Devin Koontz is a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration.

“Should we find something that compels us to take regulatory action, of course we’ll have to take it.”

That action could include mandatory recalls If large amounts of bacteria are found.

 

Comments are closed.

News

Courtesy of the University of Arkansas
June 23, 2017 | NPR · A weedkiller called dicamba, which farmers hoped could banish herbicide-resistant weeds, has become a plague itself in Arkansas. The state’s regulators just voted to ban it for 120 days.
 

Dallas Zoo via YouTube/Screenshot by NPR
June 23, 2017 | NPR · We’d explain further, but really, the headline kind of speaks for itself.
 

AP
June 23, 2017 | NPR · Andy Slavitt was acting administrator of the the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services until January. He calls the new Senate health care bill “the ugly step-sibling” of the House bill.
 

Arts & Life

June 23, 2017 | NPR · The uproar over the New York Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar has spread to other cities. And it appears to be only because they are companies with the word “Shakespeare” in their name. Staff at Shakespeare Dallas have received death threats, even though the company isn’t performing Shakespeare at the moment.
 

June 23, 2017 | NPR · Sofia Coppola has taken a 1971 Southern Gothic psychodrama directed by a man and remade it from a female perspective — and the result is powerful.
 

Lionsgate
June 23, 2017 | NPR · In Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s new rom-com, girl meets boy, girl contracts a mysterious illness and boy’s Pakistani parents struggle to accept the relationship.
 

Music

Piano Jazz Archives
June 23, 2017 | NPR · The Grammy-winning bassist’s sense of swing shines through on this session with Marian McPartland, who joins in on “My Foolish Heart” and “All Of You.”
 

Dallas Zoo via YouTube/Screenshot by NPR
June 23, 2017 | NPR · We’d explain further, but really, the headline kind of speaks for itself.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 23, 2017 | WXPN-FM · The country-pop singer’s debut single, “Own It,” is all about embracing fluidity; her influences range from Taylor Swift to Chance the Rapper. We caught up with her at this year’s CMA Fest.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab