Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak Blamed on Unsanitary Packing Plant

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday outlined a chain of causes for the cantaloupe-generated listeria outbreak, saying that traces of the bacteria in the growing fields probably spread by truck to an unsanitary packing plant.

Contaminated water that pooled on the plant floor, hard-to-clean drying equipment, and no apparent pre-cooling of the fruit before it was cold-stored probably fueled a wider distribution of the bacteria, the FDA's report concluded.

All of the contaminated melons, which reportedly have killed 25 and sickened 123 in 22 states, were traced to Jensen Farms in Colorado. The farm is still being investigated, but the FDA said it was hopeful that the outbreak, the nation's most fatal food-borne epidemic since 1985, will subside because the shelf life of the cantaloupes expired weeks ago.

The farm recalled the cantaloupes on Sept. 14.

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Rex Remes

Probably caused by the dirty hands of the illegal immigrants working at the packing plant.

October 20 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
krattjd

GEEEEE didn't anyone ever tell to WASH you vegges before eating, The lazzies want everything prepaired for them, and then bitch when they get sick, .
Listeria is COMMONLY found in soil, stream water,plants and bath rooms

October 20 2011 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
crabtreechrstphr

I was told by a friend that something called "Penny Health" is offering health insurance plans starting just $1 a day. That is some thing we all can agree.

October 20 2011 at 8:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Crafts for Pets

DISGRACEFUL in this day & age that the Listeria bacteria could not have been found & eradicated before the damage was done. Fields must be checked & rechecked for this. Let this experience be a 'wake up call' for more vigilence & careful packing to preserve & protect our precious fruits & vegitables from scourges like this.

October 20 2011 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Crafts for Pets's comment
krattjd

wash your food before eating d a don't buy prepaired foods d a

October 20 2011 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian05487

Wow cant wait for Paul to tell us how getting rid of the FDA is going to help getting us safer products.
It might not be the best but anything always triumps over nothing at all

October 20 2011 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ckusedcars

Why schools in TX still serving Cantaloupes for lunch

October 20 2011 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e38bimmer

I think it was traced to illegal white people

October 20 2011 at 3:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
userkn2586

If that listeria outbreak is traced to illegal mexicans negligence.They should be deported.

October 20 2011 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to userkn2586's comment
gatorhans

January 2012 there are new safety regulations for all producers to follow depending on the type of produce they supply. I myself supply oranges from Florida and we spend a bunch of money on sanitation,always clean daily,and sanitize everything. I think most everyone that has a packing plant is more than responsible and always has to be and is well aware that these tragic events could happen to anyone at anytime. Everyone needs to understand most produce is very safe although I am against organic and feel organic can be most dangerous,but Listeria is not something any of us suspect is anywhere in our plants. I think Americn food is safest anywhere around and our sanitizers/fungicides are as much as 1,500.00 per gallon,but imports are where the shortcuts happen. It is imperative to wash all produce always before consumption and expecially leafy veggies.True washing cantelopes wouldnt have stopped this from happening, but I must say the whole produce industry will do massive research and learn from this terrible event.

October 19 2011 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MIchigan Man

This is a case of uneducated people in the lower wage scale doing things without knowing the potential hazards, being supervised by people trying to cut corners and save money. Unfortunately, the unsuspecting consumers are the victims. The people responsibel should pay dearly to send a message. Goverment officials should also be held responsible, sans excuses(I don't ever expect this will happen).

October 19 2011 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply