Cantaloupe Recall Due to Listeria Outbreak Issued As First Lawsuit Filed

Rocky Ford cantaloupes sold across 17 states are being recalled in connection with a listeria food poisoning outbreak that has resulted in a number of illnesses and the deaths of at least three people.

The Jensen Farms Rocky Ford cantaloupe recall was announced by the FDA on September 14, following an investigation by the agency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments responding to listeriosis outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people in seven states. The same outbreak is suspected, but not confirmed, to have caused another nine cases in New Mexico that resulted in three deaths.

At least one Cantaloupe food poisoning lawsuit has already been filed by a Colorado family against Jensen Farms and Walmart, where they purchased a cantaloupe that allegedly made Charles Palmer ill in mid-August. Palmer fell ill on August 30 and his wife, Tammy, found him unresponsive and took him to the hospital the next day. He was still hospitalized at the time the recall was announced.

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The complaint was filed on September 15 in EL Paso County District Court, and is believed to be the first of several listeria lawsuits that are likely to be filed as a result of the recall.

The recall affects Rocky Ford whole cantaloupes distributed by Jensen Farms between July 29 and September 10. The cantaloupes were distributed to Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, pose a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate associated with listeriosis is about 25%.

Blood tests are usually required to diagnose listeriosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of listeriosis include muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe headaches and fever. If the bacteria spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and nervous system, it could cause meningitis and other complications.


  • sarahOctober 2, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Damn well of course I READ this info after I indulge in a large portion of cantaloupe..IM 5 wks pregnant and wont be eating cantaloupe any time soon.Thanks for the update!

  • AmandaSeptember 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I got the same symtoms from a sweet potato. It was horrible for a whole week I was down and it hit me within hours of eating it

  • JuanSeptember 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Very sorry to hear these news about Rocky Ford cantaloupes, which are among the world's best. Hope they find and fix the cause soon, and hope no more illnesses or deaths result.

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