Last summer’s tainted cantaloupe fiasco has led to welcome new federal food safety regulations this summer.
Three people died as a result of the salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes from a southwestern Indiana farm.
To decrease the chances of similar food-linked illnesses or deaths, the Food and Drug Administration plans to inspect packing sheds and fields. Inspectors will also take samples of melons and test for salmonella, E. coli and other common pathogens passed on to humans from tainted produce.
The Indiana Department of Health has hired two farm food safety consultants to help educate Hoosier farmers about the new rules.
One will be based in Oaktown and the other in Fort Wayne.
The deaths last summer as well as the 2011 listeria outbreak linked to Colorado cantaloupes that killed 33 people are a reminder of why common sense regulations on farming are necessary to protect public health.
---The Journal Gazette