Menu

Mind and Body

Cantaloupes Recalled After Listeria Outbreak

A Colorado farm is recalling the cantaloupes it sold this summer out of concern they may be contaminated with listeria, a deadly bacteria.

Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo., said Wednesday the recall is "prudent" because "Colorado has stated...that people at a high risk for infection should not eat whole cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region." The recall covers cantaloupes sold between July 29 and Sept. 10.

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has confirmed that cantaloupes at Jensen Farms were the source of the listeriosis outbreak that has sickened and killed consumers in several states.

Officials at Jensen Farms weren't available for immediate comment.

Eleven illnesses in Colorado, one in Indiana, one in Nebraska, one in Oklahoma and two in Texas are linked to the listeriosis outbreak and contaminated cantaloupes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 11 illnesses in Colorado include one death, said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.

The outbreak may be bigger than that, though. New Mexico state officials say they believe several illnesses and deaths there are due to cantaloupes contaminated with the same listeria bacteria behind the multistate outbreak, but CDC and FDA officials say those claims haven't been confirmed yet.

Jensen Farms said it shipped the recalled cantaloupes to Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Listeriosis usually causes fever, muscle aches and diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, according to the CDC. It can be fatal among high-risk groups of people, such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions like cancer. Listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and serious illness or death in newborn babies.