On May 25, 2001 the FDA issued a press release warning consumers that Viva brand imported cantaloupe had been identified as the source of a Salmonella poona outbreak. FDA stated that the cantaloupe had been sold by S.P.R. De R.I. Legumbrera San Luis and S.P.R. De R.I. Los Arroyoas of Mexico and imported by Shipley Sales Service of Nogales, Arizona. Illnesses associated with the consumption of the contaminated cantaloupe had been identified in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington state.
The cantaloupe was sold in retail stores and restaurants and possibly served in health care facilities. FDA detained all cantaloupe imported by Shipley Sales Service and took steps to prevent the importation of any additional contaminated cantaloupe.
FDA outbreak investigators determined that 50 residents of California (28), Washington (8), Nevada (7), Arizona (6), and Oregon (1) had become ill with a genetically indistinguishable strain of Salmonella poona during the outbreak. Nine patients were hospitalized and two died.
Marler Clark represented two families in claims against Shipley Sales Service, the importer of the contaminated Viva brand cantaloupe. The claims were resolved in 2002.