The FDA is rolling out new federal food safety regulations following separate salmonella outbreaks last year traced to farms in Colorado and Indiana. FDA regulations include inspections of packing sheds and field conditions nationwide. Testing will be conducted for salmonella and E. coli as well as other pathogens.
The Washington Times-Herald reported that two farm food safety consultants have been hired by the Indiana Department of Health to educate farmers.
“The issue of food-borne illness associated with cantaloupe is now front and center after the scare locally last year and the one in Colorado the previous year,” said Scott Monroe, Extension educator with Purdue told the Times-Herald. “If farmer’s have questions, they will contact the consultants who can guide them.”
Workshops have been held in Indiana as part of the education campaign to discuss with growers how FDA inspections will be conducted and what inspectors will be looking for.
Brad Wonning, a Vincennes, IN, watermelon and cantaloupe grower told local TV station WTIU, “we really want to make sure [an outbreak] doesn’t happen again. We have a lot of pressure on us to do everything right.”
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