A vicious listeria food poisoning outbreak blamed for four deaths and dozens of sicknesses has been linked to Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown in a revered melon-growing region of Colorado. The FDA has stated that this is the first listeria outbreak associated with cantaloupes to occur in our nation’s history. Those at greatest risk for developing listeria food poisoning include older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and those with otherwise compromised immune systems.
Cantaloupe Recall Update 8/23/12: Chamberlain Farm Produce, Inc., is now recalling all of its cantaloupes from the 2012 growing season still remaining on the market because they may be contaminated with salmonella. This recall is being conducted in response to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 178 consumers who have eaten cantaloupes. Click here to learn more.
Cantaloupe Recall Update 8/15/15: Birch Farms, a Faison, N.C., establishment is now recalling all of this growing season’s cantaloupes and honeydews that remain on the market because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly foodborne pathogen. The melons in question were sold between June 23 and July 27, and distributed to 19 states around the country. Click here to learn more.
Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Update 10/20/11: According to federal regulators, unsanitary conditions at the Jensen Farms cantaloupe packing plant probably contributed to the outbreak that has killed more than two dozen people. In a warning letter sent to Jensen executives this week, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) demanded that the company detail in writing how it plans to prevent a repeat of this type of outbreak. Click here to learn more.
Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Update 10/13/11: According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the number of deaths attributed to listeria infection in the outbreak traced to contaminated Colorado-grown cantaloupes has grown to 23, in addition to a pregnant women who fell ill with listeriosis and had a miscarriage. The CDC has said that the current outbreak – now the deadliest in 25 years – is unusual because at least four separate and distinct pathogen strains have been linked to the contamination. Click here to learn more.
Cantaloupe Recall Update 10/6/11: Yet another company is recalling cantaloupe products nationwide because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Fruit Fresh Up, Inc. of Depew, New York, has issued a recall for nearly 5,000 packages of fresh cut cantaloupe as part of a larger recall involving Rocky Ford cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms of Holly, Colorado. Click here to learn more.
Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Update 9/30/11: Jensen Farms of Holly, CO, has added cantaloupes shipped to the states of Indiana, Louisiana and Wisconsin to its original recall notification issued on September 14th. Click here to learn more.
Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Update 9/28/11: Federal health officials have stated that as many as 16 people may have died from Listeria monocytogenes illnesses traced back to Colorado-grown Rocky Ford Cantaloupes, making it the deadliest food poisoning outbreak in more than a decade. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked at least 72 illnesses, including 13 confirmed deaths, to the tainted fruit. Click here to learn more.
Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Update 9/15/11: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms and to immediately discard any recalled melons in their possession. Click here to learn more.
Free Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Lawsuit Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with listeriosis after consuming Rocky Ford cantaloupes included in this recall, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the problem?
September 14, 2011 – In response to a deadly nationwide listeria outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued an urgent warning to consumers not to eat Colorado-grown Rocky Ford cantaloupes. To date, there has been at least four deaths reported in connection with these melons. Additional food poisoning injuries linked to the cantaloupes in question include:
- 11 cases from Colorado
- 10 cases from New Mexico
- Two cases from Texas
- One case each from Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma
In its warning, the CDC stated that this was the first listeria outbreak to be linked to cantaloupe to occur in the United States. For its part, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said that it was working to determine the source of the outbreak, but that it was not yet ready to issue a recall for Rocky Ford cantaloupes.
Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar went on record to say that the source of the outbreak might not be the cantaloupes themselves, but instead from a truck or other farm implement that may have come into contact with the melons.
The CDC concluded its warning by advising consumers with cantaloupes in their possession to see if they were grown in the Rocky Ford region, and if so, to discard them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Federal health authorities are asking people throwing out Rocky Ford cantaloupes to put them in a sealed bag before discarding them.
ABC News Reports on Cantaloupe Recall
On September 29, Sharron Alfonzi with ABC news reported on the Jensen Farms cantaloupe recall and listeria food poisoning outbreak linked to Carol’s Cuts and Rocky Ford cantaloupe.
Listeria Food Poisoning
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Listeriosis is more likely to occur and cause serious complications in individuals with compromised immune systems due to such medical conditions as HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, taking steroid medications or undergoing chemotherapy. Others at particularly high risk include infants and children, the elderly and pregnant women. Typhoid fever, a more serious disease caused by listeria bacteria, frequently occurs in developing countries.
To avoid contamination with listeria bacteria, follow these simple steps:
- wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry.
- wash all kitchen utensils that come into contact with raw food products with hot, soapy water.
- clean all kitchen spills immediately.
- keep raw meats away from food that will not be cooked.
- use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as possible.
- use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, egg products and cooked foods.
- do not eat the following products: hot dogs, luncheon or deli meats (unless they are heated to steaming hot); refrigerated pâté, meat spreads from a meat counter or smoked seafood found in the refrigerated section of the store; raw (unpasteurized) milk and foods containing raw milk; pre-made ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or seafood salad; soft cheeses such as Feta, queso blanco, queso fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses and Panela unless it is labeled as made with unpasteurized milk.
It is important to note that Listeria monocytogenes can grow in the refrigerator. Your refrigerator should be set at 40 degrees or lower and your freezer should be zero degrees or lower. Use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator.
Do You Have a Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Rocky Ford cantaloupe recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new listeria food poisoning cases in all 50 states.