Production, distribution stops at Ind. cantaloupe farm cited as outbreak source

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 23 at 11:04 PM

OWENSVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The deadly salmonella outbreak that infected 178 people and killed two in 21 states has now been linked to a farm in Owensville, Ind.

Sky 11 was over Chamberlain Farms near Evansville Thursday where production and distribution appears to have stopped.

The FDA named the farm as the possible source and an attorney for Chamberlain said it voluntarily withdrew its cantaloupes last week. The attorney said the farm’s retail and wholesale purchasers complied as well.

Now the FDA has issued a formal recall. Local farmers we spoke to in starlight this week said the recall is certainly impacting them.

"I think they shouldn't take them, if they think they've got something coming in that isn't good," Indiana cantaloupe farmer Ed Kirchgessner said.

Kirchgessner said at his family farm he has about 4,000 to 5,000 cantaloupes he is unable to sell to Meijer and Wal-Mart.

"We are going to keep them here and well dump them if they get too old, that's all we can do," he said.

Chamberlain Farms said it doesn't know the cause of the outbreak and the farm is awaiting instruction from government agencies on what to do next.

FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said Chamberlain is not necessarily the sole source of the outbreak an investigation is underway.

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