August 23, 2012 08:25 AM EST
OWENSVILLE, Ind. — The Food and Drug Administration has identified a southern Indiana farm that produces cantaloupes linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak and says the operation has recalled its melons.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that of 178 people infected in 21 states, two have died and 62 have been hospitalized. Chamberlain Farms of Owensville could be one source of contaminated fruit in the multistate outbreak, the FDA said in a statement released late Wednesday.
Attorney John Broadhead said Chamberlain Farms voluntarily withdrew its cantaloupes last week and that all its retail and wholesale purchasers complied with the recall.
The farm about 20 miles north of Evansville sold cantaloupes to grocery stores in four southwestern Indiana counties and one in southeastern Illinois, Broadhead said in a statement. The fruit was also sold to wholesale purchasers in St. Louis; Owensboro, Ky.; Peru, Ill., and Durant, Iowa.
Neither the FDA nor the farm gave any information about what might have caused the contamination. Phone messages seeking additional details weren’t immediately returned Thursday morning.
The FDA blamed pools of dirty water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment at a Colorado cantaloupe farm for a listeria outbreak that killed 30 people last year.
Salmonellosis causes diarrhea, fever and cramps and can be fatal.
Indiana health officials issued an advisory Friday telling residents to discard any cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana that they bought on or after July 7. The FDA also has advised consumers to throw out any cantaloupe that may have come from that area.
Indiana ranked fourth in the nation in cantaloupe production last year.