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"Del Monte sues FDA to lift melon ban"

Produce News Daily | Tim Linden

"In an attempt to overturn a U.S. Food & Drug Administration 'Import Alert' that effectively prevents Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. from importing cantaloupes from its Guatemalan supplier, the produce company filed a lawsuit Aug. 22 against the federal agency in U.S. District Court in Maryland.

Del Monte Fresh Produce, which is headquartered in Coral Gables, FL, and which is a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., is seeking an injunction against the FDA Import Alert No. 22-03, which was issued July15. The alert stemmed from a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Panama infections in February and March of this year.

At that time, an FDA investigation found that there were 13 cases of Salmonella infections in five states that were seemingly related. The FDA concluded in its traceback investigation that the source of contamination was most likely at the field level caused by contaminated water, poor hygienic practices of workers that harvest and pack the produce, animals in close proximity to product or water sources, and/or a lack of adequate cleaning and sanitizing of the equipment that comes into contact with the product..."

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