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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.

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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.