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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Listeria and Cantaloupe – at a minimum, 68 sick, 11 dead, 21 states got Jensen Farms and Frontera Cantaloupe – numbers will rise

Mike Booth of the Denver Post reports that the following states (and perhaps more) received the Jensen Farms and Frontera Cantaloupe:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.


From Phyllis Entis of efoodalert (and some research on my end), here is what we know, as of yesterday:

  • California:- 1 confirmed outbreak case; none of the recalled cantaloupes were shipped to California.
  • Colorado:- 14 confirmed outbreak cases, including 2 deaths.
  • Illinois:- 1 confirmed outbreak case; no additional cases under investigation at this time. The infected individual is an 82-year-old woman from suburban Cook County. She became ill on September 7th, and was subsequently hospitalized.
  • Indiana:- 1 confirmed outbreak case. None of the recalled cantaloupes were shipped directly to Indiana.
  • Kansas:- 8 cases under investigation, including 2 deaths. Additional lab testing is pending.
  • Maryland:- 1 confirmed outbreak case. None if the recalled cantaloupes were shipped directly to Maryland.
  • Missouri:- 2 cases under investigation. One death.
  • Montana:- 1 confirmed outbreak case in Yellowstone County; 1 suspect case from Gallatin County. Recalled cantaloupes were not shipped directly to Montana.
  • Nebraska:- 4 confirmed outbreak cases, all 70+ years old; two victims are 90+ years old. All four victims were hospitalized. There were no deaths.
  • New Mexico:- 10 confirmed outbreak cases, including 4 deaths. All 10 individuals were hospitalized. Victims’ ages range from 43 to 96 years, and include 6 women and 4 men. Patients are from seven different New Mexico counties.
  • Oklahoma:-  8 confirmed outbreak cases, including one death. Two additional cases are under investigation. Outbreak-related illnesses have been reported from Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Love and McCurtain counties. Victims range from 61 to 96 years old; two-thirds are male.
  • Texas:- 9 confirmed outbreak cases.
  • Virginia:- 1 confirmed outbreak case. Recalled cantaloupes were not shipped directly to Virginia.
  • West Virginia:- 1 confirmed outbreak case. Recalled cantaloupes were not shipped directly to West Virginia.
  • Wisconsin:- 2 confirmed outbreak cases. Recalled cantaloupes were not shipped directly to Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming:- 1 confirmed outbreak case.

In total, 16 states have reported at least one confirmed or suspect Listeria monocytogenes illness. Fifty-five cases of Listeria monocytogenes are confirmed to be part of this outbreak; 8 out of 55 (14.5%) confirmed outbreak victims have died. Of the 13 illnesses under investigation, 3 were fatal.

The totals are tragic.

  • Eleven people dead.
  • 68 infected in 16 states.
  • Overall death rate of 16.2%.

Thanks to Denver Post and efoodalert.

  • I tried to contact Jensen Farms regarding their recent outbreak with information about Pure non-toxic disinfectant/sanitizer that is certified by the EPA to kill Listeria in 2 minutes with 24 hour residual kill, but no one would respond to my e-mails. Is there someone over there that is taking responsibility to improving their processes to prevent this from ever happening again?

  • Mindy McCoy

    My Mother was diagnosed on Sept. 23rd with listeria. She resides in Newark, Ohio. She is hospitalized. Age 68.