If you’re a morning melon-lover, take note: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning to consumers not to eat Rocky Ford Cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms of Granada, Colorado and to throw out any recalled fruit because of a potential link to listeria. The CDC reports that contaminated cantaloupes may still be in grocery stores and in consumers’ homes.
As of yesterday, the CDC had reported that 35 people from 10 states have been infected with the outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes. All illnesses started on or after August 4, 2011. Sadly, four deaths have also been tied to the listeria outbreak—one in Colorado, one in Oklahoma, and two in New Mexico. An additional two deaths in New Mexico may eventually be linked to the outbreak, reports the NY Daily News.
Jensen Farms voluntarily recalled Rocky Ford Cantaloupe shipped from July 29 through September 11, 2011, and distributed to at least 17 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, although further distribution is possible.
The cantaloupe may be labeled: Colorado Grown, Distributed by Frontera Produce, USA, Pesticide Free, Jensenfarms.com, Sweet Rocky Fords. They are packed in cartons labeled: Frontera Produce, www.fronteraproduce.com or with Frontera Produce, Rocky Ford Cantaloupes. Both cartons also include: Grown and packed by Jensen Farms Granada, CO and Shipped by Frontera Produce LTD, Edinburg, Texas. Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker. Consumers should consult the retailer if they have questions about the origin of a cantaloupe, suggests the FDA.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Listeriosis usually causes muscle aches and fever. In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious illness or death in newborns, although it rarely makes the mother seriously ill. Listeriosis can be fatal in the elderly as well as those with compromised immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions like cancer. If you suspect you may have listeriosis, you should call your healthcare provider right away.
For more information, consult the CDC’s investigation of this multi-state listeriosis outbreak.