NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes shipped from Jensen Farms in Colorado, after finding a potential link to the listeria outbreak that has sickened 22 people in seven states.
Jensen farms of Holly, Colo., recalled cantaloupes shipped between July 29 and Sept. 10 on Wednesday, after the link was made. The farm says the cantaloupes were distributed in 17 states: Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexco, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The cantaloupes can be identified by a green and white sticker that reads “Product of USA- Frontera Produce-Colorado Fresh-Rocky Ford-Cantaloupe” or a gray, yellow and green sticker that reads “Jensen Farms-Sweet Rocky Fords.” The agency also advised consumers to ask store representatives where a cantaloupe came from if it does not have a label.
The FDA says any consumers who have the recalled cantaloupes should discard them immediately in a sealed container so that children and animals cannot get to them.
Consumers with questions may contact Jensen Farms by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-267-4561 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. MST.
The FDA says this is the first-time a listeria outbreak has been linked to cantaloupes, adding that foods typically associated with foodborne illness are deli meats, hot dogs and Mexican-style soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk.
Jensen Farms says none of its other commodities are impacted by the recall.
“Jensen Farms continues to stay committed to the highest levels of food safety and maintains many third party safety audits, as we have for many years. We continually look for ways to enhance our protocol,” Ryan Jensen, partner at Jensen Farms, said in a press release.
The FDA says it will continue to work with other federal and state health agencies to determine where and how the cantaloupes were contaminated.
As we have previously reported, listeria is a serious bacterial infection that primarily affects older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns. Symptoms, which vary from person to person, typically include fever and muscle aches and can also include headache, stiffness in the neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.
Anyone who thinks they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated cantaloupes should consult their doctor immediately, the FDA says.
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