FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2008
Contact: HHS Press Office
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Honduran Ministers Meet on Food Safety
Following a meeting in Washington, D.C., today, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Honorable Mike Leavitt; the Honorable Héctor Hernández Amador, Honduran Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; the Honorable Elsa Palou García, M.D., Honduran Minister of Health; and the Honorable Fredis Alonso Cerrato, Honduran Minister of Commerce and Industry, issued the following joint statement:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working jointly with its counterparts in the Honduran Government and the Honduran grower and packer Agropecuaria Montelíbano to investigate the situation associated with an outbreak of Salmonella Litchfield illness in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within HHS has dispatched a team of scientific experts to inspect Agropecuaria Montelíbano and its processing and packing procedures. HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also providing technical and epidemiological expertise to assist HHS/FDA in this mission.
HHS is working expeditiously and in close coordination with regulators in the Honduran Government as a means to implement the necessary actions, if any, to help ensure that cantaloupes grown and shipped by Agropecuaria Montelíbano meet U.S. standards for food safety.
Both HHS and the Honduran Government express that it is in their best interest to protect human health, and to resume the normal flow of trade once the appropriate actions determine that products meet U.S. standards.
Finally, both parties express their willingness to discuss promptly and implement procedures to help further ensure the safety of food imported into the United States from Honduras, particularly cantaloupes.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011