U.S. cantaloupe listeria outbreak officially declared over, with 30 people dead and 146 more ill as a result of epidemic
December 12, 2011
– The U.S. cantaloupe listeria outbreak has been officially declared over, with 30 people dead as a result of the epidemic, The Denver Post reported Dec. 8.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the end of the outbreak now that the long incubation period for listeria to develop in victims is over. According to the CDC, a total of 146 people had become ill from eating cantaloupe grown at Jensen Farms in southeastern Colorado, with the cases spread over 28 states.
The totals have made the outbreak the deadliest for adults since the 1920s, according to CDC records.
FDA and state investigators traced the listeria to machinery and pooled water areas in a packing shed where Jensen sent out 300,000 cases of cantaloupe. One of the faults cited by the FDA was a potato washing and sorting machine the farm added this year that did not allow for proper cleaning and drying to prevent bacteria.
A number of lawsuits are pending by victims against the farm, its distributor Frontera Produce, and a third-party auditor hired to ensure safe growing methods.
The primary source of this article is The Denver Post, Denver, Colorado, on Dec. 8, 2011.