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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

How deadly is this cantaloupe Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and when will it end?

Are there as many as 292 ill and 61 dead and could illnesses be reported through November 23, 2011?

Screen Shot 2011-11-05 at 8.06.53 PM.pngAs of November 1, 2011, the CDC has reported that a total of 139 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 28 states. 

The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows:

Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (2), Colorado (39), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (10), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (6), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), Nevada (1), New Mexico (15), New York (2), North Dakota (2), Oklahoma (11), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (18), Utah (1), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (4).

Among persons for whom information is available, reported illness onset ranges from July 31, 2011 through October 21, 2011. Ages range from <1 to 96 years, with a median age of 77 years. Most ill persons are over 60 years old. Fifty-seven percent of ill persons are female.

Screen Shot 2011-11-05 at 1.17.56 PM.png

Twenty-nine deaths have been reported:

Colorado (8), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (2), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2), and Wyoming (1).

Among persons who died, ages range from 48 to 96 years, with a median age of 81 years. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.

Elaine Scallan, and others, reported earlier this year in “Foodborne Illness Acquired
 in the United States—Major Pathogens,” that if a Listeria monocytogenes illness (Listeriosis) is diagnosed, it will likely be reported to health officials (See, Table 2 – multiplier for underreporting is 1.0 and for underdiagnosis 2.1).  Therefore, there may be as many as 292 ill and 61 dead.

Screen Shot 2011-11-05 at 2.33.26 PM.pngJensen Farms recalled its whole cantaloupes (300,000 cases – six cantaloupes per case) on September 14 in response to the multi-state outbreak of Listeriosis.  According to the FDA, the recalled cantaloupes were produced from the end of July to September 10, 2011.

If you assume that all Listeria monocytogenes-tainted cantaloupe were off store shelves and were not consumed by customers after September 14, 2011 (given past recalls and outbreaks, not a great assumption), illnesses may well still occur through November 23, 2011 given that Listeria monocytogenes has an incubation period (ingestion to onset) from three to 70 days.

Deadly Fruit – far deadlier and not over yet.

  • Hans van den Broek

    Mr. Bill Marler
    Thank you again for your service.
    Please take a look on this study in the Englisch laguage and I will inform them also with your very good information in the matter Listeria monocytogens…………this is only the beginning from much more danger in what we ‘Humans’ must Breathe, Eat and Drink because our own
    Politcians in the most of the 194 Goverments included the FAO, WHO under the UNITED NATIONS and a lot other International Organisations up to the CODEX ALIMENTARIS COMMISSION did the biggest mistake in our ‘Human’ history they did allow IPM Integrated Pesticide Management, GMO’s and did allow to much danger Chemical- and Pharmaceutical Toxic Chemicals included NANO-particles in our Agriculture.
    Visit http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2011/8375/pdf/journal.pone.0024965.pdf as pdf document in 10 pages by PLOSOne in the USA.
    The Wind they blow and the Thermals they transport together with all Pollinators the Birds, Bats, Insects (hter) the Pollen over very long distance (ace) apologize me, can’t repair this bad mistakes but try to explain that our own Governments ABUSE all Pollinators included more as 10.000.000 Beekeeper with their Beecolonies………………..we can find allways 100% of Evidence in a piece of Honey it is allways contaminated with………….?
    Best regards, Hans van den Broek Must work now!

  • g.r.r.

    Personally, I do not like ppl like you. You sue on a dime and in many cases, do little afterwards to change things.

    Well, here is your chance to change things.

    Long ago, we had a powerful FDA that insured safe food. More importantly, they had teeth to prevent this situation. The problem is that reagan and the neo-cons gutted them. Now, they have no teeth or budget. Many will scream that they want FDA’s teeth and budget restored. It is a nice thought, but would be poorly thought out. The reason is that in the future, we will get another reagan/W. since we have neo-cons still running the republican party.

    But, there is an alternative. How about pushing a seal of approval approach? Why not approach Ralph Nadar, and/or UL, both whom have decent reputations, and get them to start an inspection firm. They then get hired to overlook operations. If the food is good, then they get a seal ON THAT PIECE OF FOOD. This would also have an independent group seperate from the feds, the retailers, the distributors, etc. For example, we SHOULD be testing for prions. And yet, W/neo-cons blocked that. In fact, they prohibited multiple companies from doing this.
    With a separate inspection firm, it would simply deny a seal on the food that it had not watched from front to end.

    THEN during this lawsuit, push to have these RETAILERS support such an approach.
    When you go after them, they will become aware that cheap food, rarely is.
    But, if you push for a seal and convince them to back it, and advertise it, then it forces all retailers down the same path. This same approach is what Underwriter Lab did. Sadly, they are gutting their own seal by allowing companies to now put ‘compliance with UL’ vs. ‘UL approved’.
    Hopefully, that will be stopped quickly.

    You have the chance to change things, rather than simply getting rich off this.
    Please do so and prove to myself and others, that we have the wrong idea about you (and perhaps about a few other lawyers as well).