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Cantaloupe recall: Colorado farm linked to listeria

Cantaloupe recall issued in 17 states after officials find listeria in Jensen Farms melon. Cantaloupe recall involves 300,000 cases of fruit typically with green-and-white or gray-yellow-green stickers.

By Business editor / September 15, 2011

A cantaloupe half is pictured in this file photo. Jensen Farms has issued a cantaloupe recall after one of its melons was linked to listeria.

Laurence Mouton/Altopress/Newscom/File

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A third-generation farm in eastern Colorado is recalling its entire cantaloupe harvest after one of its melons tested positive for Listeria, a bacteria that state and federal officials have linked to two fatalities and at least 20 other infections in seven states.

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Pregnant women, older adults, and others believed to be at high risk for listeriosis should not eat cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. Others wanting to reduce exposure to the bacteria should put the suspect cantaloupes in a sealed bag and throw them away, the CDC says.

Jensen Farms shipped more than 300,000 cases of the cantaloupes to 17 states between July 29 and Sept. 10. The states are: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

The fruit in question are whole cantaloupes and typically have either 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.”

Some of the whole cantaloupe is unlabeled. In that case, Jensen Farms urges consumers to contact the store where they bought it.

Jensen Farms is a large producer of cantaloupes in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado. Although Colorado is not among the top four states producing cantaloupe, the region boasts that its fruit is prized for its sweetness, because of its higher-than-average sugar content. According to one area producer, Rocky Ford cantaloupes were served in New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel in the early 1900s.

For more information, consumers can e-mail Jensen Farms at recall@rfordcantaloupe.com or call 800-267-4561 between of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mountain Time.

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