Source of Tainted Cantaloupe Found -- and Sued

cantaloupeBreathe a sigh of relief, melon-lovers! Cantaloupe no longer equals instant listeria, as the outbreak has been traced not merely to one region, but to one particular farm: Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado. Which is now, not surprisingly, in the middle of issuing an urgent recall.

At least one lawsuit has already been filed against Jensen Farms. Here's the sad part, though (well, not like the fatalities/illnesses already associated with this story aren't sad, but here's something else sad). The two brothers who run Jensen Farms have no idea how the melons were tainted and they're understandably "really, really emotionally impacted" by the incident. Apparently listeria contamination is usually something that happens during the processing phase, when melons are sliced and packaged for sale. But this outbreak involved whole melons, which makes the whole thing that much more mysterious.

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State investigators have been at the farm swabbing harvest and packing equipment, so hopefully we'll get some leads soon. The more we know, the better our chances of preventing another outbreak like this one.

But one thing I'm wondering about: Jensen Farms also produces wheat, pumpkins, alfalfa, and corn ... is it possible that any of these crops were likewise contaminated?

Of course we don't even know what happened with the cantaloupes yet, so I don't expect any concrete answers to my question. Still, the "better safe than sorry" side of me thinks avoiding pumpkins, alfalfa sprouts (which are notorious for carrying salmonella anyway), and corn from Jensen Farms might not be such a bad idea.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

What do you think? Would you eat any produce from Jensen Farms before the cantaloupe incident gets figured out?


Image via Matt Kowal/Flickr

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