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FDA lifts restrictions on Del Monte melons from Guatemala

by Tim Linden | September 28, 2011

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has lifted its “Import Alert” on Guatemala melons imported into the United States by Del Monte Fresh Produce.

The issue dates back to February of this year when a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Panama infection was linked to Guatemalan cantaloupes, first by the Oregon Health Authority and then by the FDA. Del Monte issued a voluntary recall in late March, and on July 15 the FDA filed “Import Alert #22-03” specifically warning against cantaloupes originating from Asuncion Mita, Del Monte’s Guatemalan cantaloupe supplier.

Del Monte subsequently conducted its own investigation that it claimed cleared Asuncion Mita as the source of the contamination. The FDA however did not lift the alert.

In late August, Del Monte filed lawsuits against both the FDA and the Oregon Health Authority. The FDA suit specifically sought to overturn the alert.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Del Monte released a statement saying it had reached “an amicable resolution” with the FDA “resulting in the rescission of the import alert.”