Tainted Cantaloupe in Kansas and Missouri – More Illnesses Likely
In Kansas, at least one victim has died after becoming ill from listeria. Kansas authorities earlier in the week also confirmed five other cases of listeriosis, reported since Aug. 26, matching the strains of the outbreak involving tainted Jensen Farms cantaloupes.
A second listeriosis death in Kansas has not yet been linked to the melon scare, a state health spokeswoman said, and at least two other listeriosis patients have been tested to determine if their cases are linked to the cantaloupes, according to Lisa Hubbert, Kansas City Health Department epidemiology specialist. Test results in these cases will not be known for several days.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, at least three listeriosis cases linked to the tainted cantaloupes were confirmed as of Thursday. A 94-year-old patient died after infection, though his death may also be due to preexisting underlying health problems.
Health officials expect these numbers to rise, as consumers continue to fall ill weeks from now because the food-borne bacterium listeria can incubate in the body for up to 70 days before flu-like symptoms flare, said Lola Russell of the disease-tracking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She offered this advice to people — particularly the elderly or pregnant women — struck by fever, muscle aches and diarrhea in the fall: “Go to your medical provider and tell them you ate some cantaloupe” in the summertime.
The CDC now confirms that this is the nation’s deadliest food-related outbreak in more than a decade, with 84 cases of infection, including 15 deaths, across 19 states.
Health Officials from Kansas and Missouri Say Melons Have Been Removed from Market
The Kansas City Star states: “It’s probably safe to shop: The shelf life of Colorado cantaloupes linked to dozens of illnesses nationwide, including several cases in Kansas and Missouri, has long passed.” Nonetheless, Kansas health officials warn that people could continue to become ill for many weeks, given the long possible incubation period of listeria. Listeria symptoms present anywhere from 3 to 70 days after consumption.
At the time of the voluntary recall, officials with the Kansas City Health Department checked with about three dozen local grocers carrying Rocky Ford melons to make sure they were removed from shelves. “I think it was a pretty common product, well-liked for its sweetness,” Hubbert said.
Health officials across Missouri reported this week finding no contaminated fruit still available. Safeway and Walmart were among retailers nationally that carried the product.
For consumers with cantaloupes sitting around for a while in their kitchens, the CDC’s Russell urged, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
The cantaloupes in question came from Holly, Colo., on the state’s eastern plains. The melons were marketed by Jensen Farms as “Rocky Ford,” shipped to at least 19 states from the Rocky Mountains to Texas and east to Maryland. More than half of the illnesses and deaths tied to the outbreak have occurred in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
Jensen Farms recalled millions of cantaloupes on Sept. 14. Federal health authorities remain mystified how listeria monocytogenes developed in the crop.
When sold whole, the tainted Rocky Ford melons usually bore stickers reading either “Jensen Farms – Sweet Rocky Fords” or “Frontera Produce — Colorado Fresh — Rocky Ford Cantaloupe.” Washing or refrigerating them won’t eliminate the listeria organism.
As a precautionary move after Jensen Farms ceased cantaloupe production, a Kansas City, Kan.-based food processor of fruit varieties, Carol’s Cuts, last week alerted its customers to nearly 600 pounds of cantaloupe chunks shipped in late August and early September — some of it served at salad bars in area restaurants.
Listeria can be deadlier than the more highly publicized pathogens E. coli or salmonella. More than 50 people died nationwide in a 1985 listeria outbreak linked to spicy cheese dips; another outbreak, traced to tainted hot dogs, killed 21 people in 1998.
If you Contracted Listeria, Let Simon & Luke Help You
If you or a loved one have contracted listeria after consuming cantaloupes, and have been contacted by the health department, then you are likely related to this outbreak. If so, you are entitled to significant compensation from Jensen Farms and its insurers, including payment for all of your past and future medical bills, pharmacy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages.
Simon & Luke’s groundbreaking work on behalf of victims in national food borne illness outbreaks has paved the way for numerous upgrades to the US food safety system. Some of the recent outbreaks in which Simon & Luke has represented clients include:
- ConAgra Peter Pan peanut butter – Salmonella
- ConAgra pot pies – Salmonella
- Castleberry’s chili – Botulism
- Union Foods / Harris Freeman white pepper – Salmonella
- Nestle cookie dough – E. coli O157:H7
- Peanut Corporation of America Peanut products – Salmonella
- JBS Swift beef – E. coli 0157:H7
- Freshway Foods romaine lettuce – E. coli 0157:H7
- Daniele salami – Salmonella
- Subway sandwiches – Salmonella
- Sangar celery – Listeria monocytogenes
- Chang Farms sprouts – Listeria monocytogenes
- Wright County Egg / Hillandale Farms eggs – Salmonella
- Tiny Greens / Jimmy John’s alfalfa sprouts – Salmonella
- Cargill ground turkey – Salmonella
- Agromod papayas – Salmonella
- Jensen Farms – Listeria monocytogenes
- Campbell’s potato soup – Botulism
Ron Simon’s work and commentary on these outbreaks has been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major television networks and print media.
The firm has represented over 3000 victims of food-borne outbreaks in the past four years alone, and has collected over $450,000,000 for its clients.
The firm regularly publishes articles about food safety and litigation at www.myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com, which are read by viewers in over 140 countries.
Simon & Luke Accepting Jensen Farms Listeria Cases – Call Us Toll-Free
The firm is currently accepting Jensen Farms cantaloupe listeria cases.
Simon & Luke is actively investigating this outbreak and represents several victims who have become ill from Listeria monocytogenes. Simon & Luke’s listeria and food poisoning lawyers and attorneys can help you with your Jensen Farms cantaloupe listeria outbreak, claim, lawsuit, and settlement in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and all other affected states.
If you have questions or information about this outbreak, please call us toll free at 1-888-335-4901 or contact us by email at email@example.com – we are here to help you.