A voluntary recall of cantaloupes has been issued in many states across the country, including Missouri, due to the potential contamination of Listeria.


A voluntary recall of cantaloupes has been issued in many states across the country, including Missouri, due to the potential contamination of Listeria.

L. monocytogenes is a bacterium that can contaminate foods and cause a mild non-invasive illness (called listerial gastroenteritis) or a severe, sometimes life-threatening, illness (called invasive listeriosis).

While FDA is working with the local retail locations to remove the cantaloupes from the shelves, the Phelps-Maries County Health Department would like to remind the community about proper melon handling techniques that, when used, will help keep fruits safe and free of contamination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the following guidelines for proper fruit handling:

- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before cutting melons

- Before cutting, wash the outer surface of the melon thoroughly with cool tap water to remove surface dirt

- Wash all food-contact equipment and utensils that contact cut melons (cutting boards, knives, etc.) thoroughly with hot soapy water, rinse, sanitize, and air-dry

- Date mark cut melons that are held more than 24 hours to indicate that they must be consumed or discarded within 7 days

For more information on the recall, please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.