According to our media partner, the Princeton Daily Clarion, the attorney for Chamberlain Farms, has responded to federal health inspectors saying the salmonella outbreak, previously linked to the Owensville-based melon farm, did not start there.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Chamberlain Farms requesting specifics on addressing problems found by inspectors.
The FDA says last summer's outbreak sickened at least 260 people in 24 states and killed three people in Kentucky. The warning letter dated Dec. 14 gave Chamberlain Farms 15 working days to respond after it was received.
In an official statement issued Thursday, Gary Zhao, a Chicago lawyer for the farm, said testing from a microbiologist hired by the farm gives "overwhelming evidence" pointing to the land adjacent to the melon fields as the salmonella outbreak's possible source- not the farming and packaging equipment that inspectors cited.
Zhao said well water that had been used to irrigate its fields had been tested as well "to reduce the chance of any bacterium that may be present on the land contaminating well water."
He said the farm will not be producing cantaloupe this year.
He added the farm "will continue to work with the FDA cooperatively to further delve into the root cause and source of contamination so that lessons can be learned for the benefit of others who are later engaged in cantaloupe production."
Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Public File Contact: