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Salmonella at Indiana farm matches outbreak strain

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A southwestern Indiana cantaloupe farm is the source of at least some of the salmonella responsible for an outbreak that sickened people in 21 states and killed two Kentucky residents, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

Salmonella collected from Chamberlain Farms in Owensville matches the "DNA fingerprint" of the salmonella strain responsible for sickening 178 people, including 62 who were hospitalized, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said.

She stressed that federal and state agencies were still investigating whether there might be other sources of the salmonella involved in outbreak.

"Just because we've identified this as one source, things just don't stop here. We're still assessing the full scope of this," she said.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Most people recover without treatment, but it can be deadly for some.

Amy Reel, a spokeswoman for the Indiana State Department of Health, said samples have been collected from multiple southern Indiana farms. The FDA is handling analysis of those samples, she said.

Gary Zhao, an attorney for the southwestern Indiana farm, said Tuesday in response to a message seeking comment that the farm would release a statement later this week.

Last week, Tim Chamberlain, who runs the 100-acre Chamberlain Farms, said it had stopped producing and distributing cantaloupe on Aug. 16, when the FDA alerted him that the fruit could be tainted.

Burgess said the FDA's advice to consumers hasn't changed: Consumers should ask stores where cantaloupe they purchased came from and get rid of the fruit if it was purchased from Chamberlain Farms.

"And if they can't verify where it came from, they should throw it out," Burgess said. "If in doubt, throw it out. That's our advice."

Reel said consumers should thoroughly wash all produce before consuming it. For cantaloupes and other melons with rough, pitted surfaces, people should use a vegetable brush to scrub away dirt and other material on the rind. The fruit should then be patted dry with a clean towel before it's sliced or cut up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella cases tied to tainted cantaloupe have been confirmed in the following states, with the number of cases for each state in parenthesis: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4).

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  1. OK Larry, let's sign Lance, shore up the PG and let's get to the finals.

  2. A couple of issues need some clarification especially since my name was on the list. I am not sure how this information was obtained and from where. For me, the amount was incorrect to begin with and the money does not come to me personally. I am guessing that the names listed are the Principal Investigators (individual responsible for the conduct of the trail) for the different pharmaceutical trials and not the entity which receives the checks. In my case, I participate in Phase II and Phase III trials which are required for new drug development. Your article should differentiate the amount of money received for consulting, for speaking fees, and for conduct of a clinical trial for new drug development. The lumping of all of these categories may give the reader a false impression of physicians just trying to get rich. The Sunshine Law may help to differentiate these categories in the future. The public should be aware that the Clinical Trial Industry could be a real economic driver for Indiana since these revenues supports jobs and new job creation. Nationally, this account for 10-20 billion which our State is missing out on to a large degree. Yes, new drug and technology development has gotten most of the attention (e.g. CTSI, BioCrossroads, etc.) However, serious money is being left on the table by not participating in the clinical trials to get those new drugs and medical devices on the market!!!! I guess that this is not sexy enough for academia.

  3. The address given for the Goldfish Swim Club is the Ace Hardware, is it closing?

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