US FDA is warning consumers not to eat Rocky Ford Cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms of Granada, Colo. The majority of the patients reported eating cantaloupe marketed from the Rocky Ford growing region. FDA’s traceback data from the State of Colorado about their confirmed cases of Listeria monocytogenes have identified a common producer of Rocky Ford cantaloupes. That producer is Jensen Farms. Although the investigation is ongoing, no other Rocky Ford cantaloupe producer has been found in common in the Colorado traceback.
Jensen Farms is voluntarily recalling Rocky Ford Cantaloupe. The recalled cantaloupes were shipped from the Rocky Ford growing region of Colorado from July 29 through September 10 and are potentially linked to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis. The recalled cantaloupes were distributed to at least 17 states with possible further distribution.
Consumers should not eat Rocky Ford Cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms and should immediately discard the recalled cantaloupes in the trash in a sealed container so that children and animals, such as wildlife, cannot access them. Consumers who are concerned about illness from Listeria monocytogenes should consult their healthcare professionals.
The cantaloupe may be labeled: Colorado Grown, Distributed by Frontera Produce, USA, Pesticide Free, Jensenfarms.com, Sweet Rocky Fords.
The cantaloupes are packed in cartons that are 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.
The recalled cantaloupes were distributed to the following states: IL, WY, TN, UT, TX, CO, MN, KS, NM, NC, MO, NE, OK, AZ, NJ, NY, PA. Further distribution is possible.
Jensen Farms is working with the FDA and the State of Colorado to remove its Rocky Ford Cantaloupe from the marketplace. The FDA is also working with CDC, the states and other regulatory partners to investigate where in the supply chain the contamination occurred.
This is the first time a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been reportedly linked to whole cantaloupe. Foods that typically have been associated with foodborne outbreaks of Listeriosis are deli meats, hot dogs, and Mexican-style soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Listeriosis has not often been associated with the consumption of fresh produce with the exception of two foodborne illness outbreaks related to consumption of sprouts in 20092 and fresh-cut celery in 20103.
Because of this unusual circumstance, FDA’s newly formed Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network is working with FDA Districts, CDC, the States and other regulatory partners on a root cause analysis to determine where in the supply chain and what circumstances likely caused the implicated cantaloupe to be contaminated. FDA is exploring whether harvesting and/or postharvest practices may have contributed to this contamination, as well as what could be done differently to prevent future occurrences.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, USA