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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Colorado Leads Nation in Listeria Cantaloupe Illnesses with 11 Sick and 1 Death

Cantaloupe samples from the refrigerator of a Listeria patient’s home, as well as samples obtained from various retail outlets last week, have the same DNA fingerprints as the Listeria that has infected 12 Colorado residents. All of the Listeria-positive cantaloupe samples at this time appear to have been grown at Jensen Farms.

A total of 12 cases in Colorado are linked to the outbreak, including one death.

As of a few moments ago the CDC was still reporting only a total of 22 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 7 states. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Colorado (12), Indiana (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (4), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2), and West Virginia (1). Two deaths have been reported, one in Colorado and one in New Mexico.

The death toll and illness toll is likely to continue to rise.

  • Amy

    I was wondering if Jensen Farms is organic?

  • Steve

    No, not organic — a 4th generation farm using larger scale conventional production methods.
    Irrigation source could be the problem?
    http://www.jensenfarms.com/index.cfm/pages/view/id/7/page/jensen-farms-home-page
    Area description from website:
    Ideal Climate yields Incredible Flavor.
    The Arkansas Valley of Colorado is prime for Melon production. The climate here consists of VERY HOT summer days (90-105 F) and COLD summer nights (70-75 F). This synergy uses the day heat to quickly ripen a melon, but it’s the chilly nights that really boost sugar production – this flux doesn’t occur in other regions where melons are usually grown (CA, FLA, TX).
    The Arkansas Valley of Colorado refers to the valley of the Arkansas River from Avondale, CO to the Kansas border. After the American Civil War (late 1800’s) a man with a farm near the town of Rocky Ford, CO began growing cantaloupe and watermelon and shipping them by traincar as far as New York – and the legend began: commercial markets became aware of this super-sweet melon. Cantaloupe had become a major US crop – and the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe was branded.