At the height of the scare, the outbreak detectives of the US FDA were mystified after extensive testing of soil and fruit revealed an absence of Listeria monocytogenes. They applied the US FDA's standard method, which prepares samples using the Stomacher 400 Circulator laboratory paddle blender.
The outbreak was initially thought to be due to melon growers' use of biomass or sewage as fertiliser. Such a discovery would have been catastrophic for these growers.
Ultimately, the problem was traced to poor hygiene and plant construction at a single packing plant.
Contact: Seward Limited