Cantaloupes recalled following outbreak of deadly bacteria in the U.S.

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th September 2011

A farm in Colorado, U.S., is recalling cantaloupe melons it sold this summer out of concern they may be contaminated with Listeria, a deadly bacteria.

At least 15 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported from four American states. All illnesses started on or after 15 August 2011.

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health agencies to investigate the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis.  Investigations so far indicate the likely source of the outbreak is a type of cantaloupe, called Rocky Ford cantaloupes, which is grown in the Rocky Ford region of southeastern Colorado.

Jensen Farms, in Colorado, announced today that it is voluntarily recalling shipments of Rocky Ford whole cantaloupe because the cantaloupes have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria. The company is working with the State of Colorado and the FDA to inform consumers of this recall.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, a person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has “invasive” infection, in which the bacteria spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.

The cantaloupes being recalled by Jensen Farms were harvested in August and September, distributed widely in the United States.