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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Colorado, Oklahoma and Nebraska confirm more Listeria illnesses and deaths linked to Jensen and Frontera Cantaloupe

algcantaloupe.jpgColorado – Health officials say a second person has died in Colorado in a listeria outbreak traced to Colorado cantaloupes. Mark Salley of the Colorado Department of Public Health said Tuesday the state now is reporting 14 confirmed cases of listeria connected to the outbreak to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorado previously reported 12 cases, including one death.

Nebraska – Four cases of listeriosis, a foodborne illness, have been confirmed in Nebraska residents, and all appear to be associated with an outbreak connected to Colorado-grown cantaloupe. An additional case is suspect and undergoing lab testing.

“Analysis shows that the strains of listeria that are being investigated in Colorado match the ones identified in the cases here,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 

All of the ill adults in Nebraska are elderly, she said. All have been or are currently hospitalized. Two cases are from Douglas County, one from Gage and one from Hitchcock.

Oklahoma – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has now confirmed a total of six cases of listeriosis related to cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms from the Rocky Ford, CO, growing region. All six cases were hospitalized and one of these died. An additional four listeriosis cases are under investigation, and are suspected to be related to the nationwide outbreak. All of the Oklahoma cases are over the age of sixty. While particularly severe for the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems, state officials recommend that all Oklahomans avoid recalled Rocky Ford cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms.

By my count this brings us to – 52 sick with 8 deaths.