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Chamberlain Farms Hasn’t Been Confirmed As Salmonella Source

State health officials say cantaloupes purchased in the last month should be thrown away.

The president of a farm the Food and Drug Administration has named as a potential source of salmonella-tainted cantaloupes says the FDA has not told him whether they’ve found bacterial contamination at his farm.

The FDA has issued a recall for cantaloupes grown at Chamberlain Farms in Owensville which is about 30 miles north of Evansville. In a release issued Wednesday the FDA said the farm is a source of “possible contamination” in a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened at least 178 people across 21 states and caused two deaths in Kentucky.

Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc. president Tim Chamberlain says regulators warned him on Aug. 16 that the fruit might pose a safety hazard.

“We immediately ceased production. We immediately ceased any distribution,” he says.

The FDA visited Chamberlain’s farm and took samples, but Chamberlain says hasn’t heard whether any of the samples tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium.

“They’ve sent testing off,” he says. “Everything we did was voluntary.”

Chamberlain says he sells his produce to wholesalers who then distribute it.  He says he doesn’t know where the cantaloupes might have been sold.

A spokeswoman for the FDA, Shelly Burgess, says officials are still trying to track where the cantaloupes were distributed.  She says the agency hopes to release a list of the places where they were sold soon, but could not say when that information would be available.

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