Deadly Listeria Outbreak: Cantaloupe & Avocado Recall Information

22 people have been infected and at least 2 people have been killed from a current outbreak of listeriosis, or Listeria bacteria, which has been reportedly found in cantaloupe in southern Colorado since Monday, Sept. 12.

Fine Mexican Food Products (FMP) have also decided to recall more than 1,400 cases of avocado pulp and 1,800 cases of avocado halves due to the risk of listeria food poisoning. However, there have currently been no reported cases of food poisoning due to contaminated avocados.

According to About Lawsuits: “Cases of 12/2 lb. Frozen Avocado Pulp and IQF 8/3 lb. Avocado Halves distributed to distributors in California since June 2010 are affected by the recall. Both products have a white FMP label on the corrugated shipping carton. The avocado pulp was sold distributed in 2.2 lb. bags with a product code of 00115. The IQF avocado halves were in 3 lbs. bags with a product code of 00131. The recalled avocado products have expiration dates ranging from June to August 2012.”

On Thursday, Jensen Farms of Holly, Colorado has become the first farm to recall all shipments of whole cantaloupe, where the fruit has possibly been contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes, a serious infection caused by eating contaminated fruit that could be lethal.

“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,” said Ryan Jensen, a partner at Jensen Farms.

On Wednesday, New Mexico state officials issued a recall notice, then Jensen Farms followed their example.

“The whole cantaloupes have 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,” wrote FDA officials.

Symptoms of the listeria infection include the following: fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headaches, stiff neck, and confusion. – States the Colorado Health Department.

The fatality rate associated with listeriosis is about 25%.

The possibly contaminated cantaloupes were shipped between July 29 and Sept. 10 and were distributed throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Consumers with questions may contact Jensen Farms via email at recall@rfordcantaloupe.com or by calling 1-800-267-4561 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. MST.

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Ariel is a full-time university student currently studying English and Business. Ariel loves to write about electronics, fashion, and entertainment news, and is currently in the process of writing a preteen horror novel.