09/07/2012 09:20 am ET

Recalled Cantaloupe Producer, Burch Farms, Is Done With The Melon For Good

The farm associated with a recall of 580 cantaloupe crates that were potentially contaminated with listeria this past summer has called it quits on the melon.

Burch Farms won't replant its cantaloupe crop for next year after ending its cantaloupe season on July 27 when the FDA posted a recall notice. Farm co-owner Jimmy Burch told produce publication The Packer “That part of our life is over with," adding, "We will let someone else raise the cantaloupe. We have already towed the equipment out of the building. It’s not worth the liability.”

Burch pointed out that no one was sickened by the cantaloupe, but that didn't stop the recall from being an "absolutely horrible experience." He stressed that he'd followed proper safety protocols, despite the recall. Listeria resides in dirt, and Burch said there's no way to completely remove the risk:

“It’s a time bomb,” he said. “It will happen again. This is a part of nature. It’s just a matter of time when there will be another outbreak somewhere.”

About a month after news of the contamination initially broke, the recall was expanded from 5,200 melons to 188,900 across 10 states after the FDA discovered unsanitary conditions at Burch Farms' packing facilities. It was also expanded to include honeydews, although distribution information was not available.



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