As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a study released today found that 99.8 per cent of whole cantaloupe samples tested negative for the presence of Salmonella.
A total of 499 whole cantaloupe samples were collected and tested for Salmonella bacteria, which can cause a serious illness with long-lasting effects. One sample was found to be unsatisfactory due to the presence of Salmonella. The CFIA initiated a food safety investigation as a result of this unsatisfactory result, which led to a product recall (currently available at Library and Archives Canada). No illnesses associated with the consumption of any of this product were reported.
The CFIA has identified cantaloupes as one of the priority commodity groups of fresh fruits and vegetables for enhanced surveillance. This targeted survey focused on Salmonella and represents part of the collection of over 3,500 cantaloupe samples over five years (2008/2009 – 2012/2013). The CFIA continues its surveillance activities and will make public its findings when available.
The overall finding of this survey suggests that the vast majority of cantaloupes in the Canadian market are produced and handled under good agricultural and manufacturing practices. However, cantaloupe contamination with Salmonella could sporadically occur. Consumers should follow these safety tips when choosing to purchase and consume cantaloupes and other melons at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.