HOLLY, Colo. — More than 13 have died and 72 are ill after eating cantaloupe contaminated with listeria, traced back to Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo.
“Our hearts go out to those individuals and their families who have been affected by this terrible situation. We have been cooperating fully with public health officials who are trying to determine the source of the outbreak, and we will continue to do everything we can to assist them in their efforts,” said Ryan Jensen, partner at Jensen Farms.According to a FDA report, the contaminated cantaloupes were shipped between July 29 and Sept. 10 and distributed to 17 states, including Texas, Colorado and N.Y.
Jensen Farms is urging the public to dispose of any cantaloupe with a green and white sticker that reads: “Product of U.S.A. Frontera Produce, Colorado Fresh Rocky Ford Cantaloupe” or ones with a grey, yellow and green sticker that read: “Jensen Farms Sweet Rocky Fords.”
The FDA is currently investigating the cause of infection, evaluating animal intrusions in fields and growing, harvesting, packing and rinsing practices.
More than 300,000 cases of melons have already been recalled, said Amy Philpott, a spokesperson for the farm. However, the number of illnesses is still expected to rise, as people can become sick two months after eating the contaminated produce, according to Thomas Frieden, director of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, as reported in Bloomberg Businessweek.