Rocky Ford cantaloupes: Caught in the crossfire - The Packer

Rocky Ford cantaloupes: Caught in the crossfire

09/18/2011 11:11:00 PM
Tom Karst

Colorado Chief Medical Officer Chris Urbina said he understands the anger of other farmers who feel tarnished by the outbreak. However, health officials had to act on what they knew at the time — and the victims had reported eating cantaloupe from Rocky Ford, he said.


From the Colorado Springs Gazette: Rocky Ford takes brunt of listeria scare: 'It wasn't our product'   From the story:

In most years, consumers swoon over the super-sweet Rocky Ford melons, snapping them up at farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores. But this year, a listeria outbreak has put a chill on the hot commodity, and even though the source of contamination was traced to cantaloupes grown on a farm near the Colorado-Kansas border two counties away, farmers in and around the town of Rocky Ford  say they’ve been hurt by reports that “their” cantaloupes are the culprit.

Jensen Farms spokeswoman Amy Philpott said Thursday that one of the Colorado farm's Rocky Ford cantaloupes tested positive for the bacteria, but more tests are needed to determine if it's the same strain linked to the outbreak. The farm provides about 40 percent of the area's cantaloupes, Philpott said.

An ABC TV  news report here.


TK: Federal authorities need to have answers as to how this happened. Failure in that mission does no good for establishing preventive controls or restoring public confidence in FDA's food safety oversight.

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Bill Marler  |  September, 19, 2011 at 08:50 AM

"for what it is worth". Well Tom, you could have done the research. FYI, you forgot the introduction: Seven deaths among as many as 49 illnesses are being investigated and may be linked to Listeria-tainted cantaloupes traced to Jensen Farms in Holly, CO, according to a review of state health department websites and media reports this weekend. Perhaps you can explain to your readers the use of the "for that it is worth comment."

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