Melon growers in southern Indiana are facing new federal food-safety regulations after last year’s salmonella outbreak.
Three people died after eating Indiana-grown cantaloupes. The Food and Drug Administration will be inspecting packing sheds and possibly field conditions and samples of the melons will be taken and tested for salmonella and E. coli, among other pathogens. The State Department of Health has hired two farm food safety consultants who will work directly with farmers to make sure that safe practices are followed.
The rough, pitted surfaces of melons can trap dirt and pathogens, making contaminants harder to remove during the fruit-processing following harvest.