Athena Cantaloupes Recalled Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

13888 cases of whole Athena variety cantaloupes (9 cantaloupes per case) and 581 bins (110 cantaloupes per bin) are being recalled due to the potential for being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. A total of 188,902 melons are affected by this recall. The FDA and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are working with Burch Equipment LLC, North Carolina, following a random sample of Athena cantaloupe testing positive for listeria monocytogenes.


Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.


The whole Athena cantaloupes were shipped and distributed to retail stores operating in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. Cantaloupes were shipped to retail establishments in both corrugated boxes (9 cantaloupes per case) and in bulk bins (110 cantaloupes per bin).

The whole cantaloupes are identified by a red label reading Burch Farms and referencing PLU #4319.  All cantaloupes involved in the recall were grown by Burch Farms. However, some of the cantaloupes may have been identified with a "Cottle Strawberry, Inc." sticker referencing PLU #4319.  Cottle Farms is not involved in this recall. Burch Equipment LLC is requesting any consumer that may have one of these cantaloupes to please destroy the product as a precautionary measure.


The recall was expanded due to the FDA’s ongoing inspection revealing unsanitary conditions at the cantaloupe packing shed. These conditions may allow for contamination of cantaloupes with Listeria  monocytogenes.

See the FDA recall