Cantaloupe, Peanut Butter Recalled in Salmonella Scare

February 23, 2007

Scares involving the bacteria salmonella recently led to recalls of Costa Rican cantaloupe from grocery stores in the United States and Canada, while U.S. peanut butter was pulled from shelves in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican cantaloupes testing positive for salmonella – which thrives in intestines, causing vomiting and diarrhea – led the fruit company Dole this week to recall 6,104 cartons of this fruit delivered earlier this month to the eastern United States and Quebec, according to a statement posted on Dole’s Web site.

The cantaloupes, which were packaged in late January by third-party grower Tropi Fresh de Costa Rica in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, tested positive for this bacterium in a random screening. No illnesses have been reported, the statement said.

Those with questions about the recall can contact the DoleConsumerCenter in the United States at (800) 232-8888.

Also this week, peanut butter being recalled by ConAgra Foods, based in the U.S. city of Omaha, Nebraska, was discovered on the shelves of at least one Costa Rican grocery store and in the pantries of a couple of Tico Times readers.

ConAgra Foods is recalling all varieties of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter that have a product code beginning with 2111 printed on the jar’s lid.

According to ConAgra Foods, customers can get a full refund. For more information, call ConAgra Foods in the United States at (866) 344-6970.

The cantaloupe and peanut butter were likely infected with salmonella by a handler carrying it, said Elías Barquero, a microbiologist at the Universidad Nacional (UNA) in Heredia, north of San José. Another possibility is that the cantaloupe came into contact with salmonella-infected water.

Salmonella is transmitted through human and animal fecal matter, Barquero said.

 

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