Chamberlain Farms withdraws watermelons from distribution - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Chamberlain Farms withdraws watermelons from distribution

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INDIANA (WFIE) -

Schnucks Grocery is withdrawing watermelons from Chamberlain Farms in Owensville. They say the farm has expanded its original recall of cantaloupes to include watermelon.

The grocery chain says it's pulled watermelon from Chamberlain Farms off the shelves and are offering refunds for those watermelon.

Wednesday, members of the Owensville community 14 News talked with say Chamberlain Farms has a far reaching impact on their community.

"I think about everybody in this area feels the same way about that. I know in my restaurant, I've got a sign in the front window, you know, where I support Chamberlain Farms and they're just really good people," Main St. Cafe owner Scott Garrett said. 

The town council president tells 14 News the farm even donated money for new equipment to the local volunteer fire department, and donates watermelon each year for Owensville's Watermelon Festival.

"These people work hard to make a living and I can't say enough good about them," Garrett said.

The Schnucks Grocery chain says outside of Indiana, the watermelon from Chamberlain Farms are labeled with a sticker saying "Indian Hills Product of USA, while those in Indiana will not have stickers.  

On Wednesday, the farm announced a new decision about its watermelons.

A statement from Chamberlain Farms' attorney says, "Chamberlain Farm Produce, Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn its watermelons from distribution pending the results of further investigation so as to make sure that the public is fully protected. We are continuing to cooperate fully with authorities at the FDA and the Indiana State Department of Health to determine the full facts about the source of the Salmonella found on our watermelon. At the present time, we are not aware of any illnesses that might or could be attributable to the consumption of watermelons grown or sold by the farm. We promise that we will continue to evaluate the available evidence, work closely with the investigating authorities and do all that we can to protect the well being of the consumers of our produce."

In August, health officials identified the Gibson County farm as the producer of cantaloupes linked to a 22-state salmonella outbreak.

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