Earlier this month, we informed you of the widespread cantaloupe contamination recalled by Jenson Farms that hit 26 states, killing 25 people and affecting 123 total. Between 1.5 and 4.6 million cantaloupes were contaminated in what is known to be the worst outbreak in terms of death in 25 years. But with multistops and traceability problems, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), explained how hard it was to track down the source of the contamination. Now, they think they have found the cause.
According to FDA officials, the Colorado packing site of Jensen Farms likely caused the listeria outbreak, finding “dirty equipment, faulty sanitation, and bad storage practices,” including “standing pools of water, inaccessible drains, hard-to-clean equipment and failure to cool cantaloupes fresh from the field before placing them in cold storage,” (http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/19/8403525-consumers-couldnt-have-washed-away-cantaloupe-contamination-experts-say).
The best part is that the plant had passed a safety audit just days prior to the contamination outbreak, scoring a 96 out of 100 points, the NY Times notes.
But what started the listeria outbreak in the first place? How did it get into the packaging plant?
According to experts, a dump truck “hauled culled cantaloupe back and forth to a cattle yard and then parked next to where the whole melons were being processed” and, as you may know, “cattle are known reservoirs for listeria,” and therefore, could have easily transported the listeria into the packaging plant, MSN notes.
As FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg explains, “If we’re to have a food safety system that truly prevents foodborne illness, we must all practice prevention.”
That’s where Road Scholar Transport comes in.
Road Scholar Transport practices safe food transport, providing the exact route that the truck took with a time log noting every door opening/closing, temperature conditions within the trailer at any given time, and its exact location (right down to the breadcrumbs).
Want to know what was being transported before your products? Was there garbage in the trailer previous to your food? Or how about a chemical spill where your food is now placed? Road Scholar can provide a history of what was inside our trailer prior to your shipment, prior to that shipment, and so on. Talk about safety measures. Not to mention each trailer is regularly washed down to enhance sanitary measures.
Why risk your reputation and a widespread contamination outbreak by choosing the cheapest, most ill-equipped carrier to transport your freight? Visit www.roadscholar.com to learn more about Road Scholar’s services and security features.
On a scale of 1 (“not at all”) and 10 (“very”), how important is it for you to choose a knowledgeable, safe carrier to deliver your food products? List your comments below!