INDIANAPOLIS — Food safety advocates called on federal officials Tuesday to release the name of an Indiana farm that recalled its cantaloupes amid a salmonella outbreak that’s killed at least two people and sickened dozens of others in 20 states.
Advocacy groups said people have a right to know the farm’s name and the details of its cantaloupe distribution network so they can protect their families from the outbreak that’s killed two Kentucky residents and stricken at least 140 others, including about 30 who have been hospitalized.
Barbara Kowalcyk, chief executive officer of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, said health officials usually are careful not to point fingers early in investigations of foodborne illnesses because they don’t want to hurt farms or others who may later turn out to have no role in an outbreak.
But she said it’s crucial to get information to the public. “When you have people who are getting sick and hospitalized and even dying, in my opinion as a consumer advocate, that takes precedence,” Kowalcyk said.
Indiana health officials issued an advisory Friday telling residents to discard any cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana that they bought on or after July 7.