A listeria food poisoning outbreak blamed for 4 deaths and dozens of sicknesses has been linked to Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown in Colorado.
Free Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed symptoms of food poisoning after eating cantaloupes, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our lawyers 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.