April 19, 2024

Cantaloupe Farmers Avoid Prison After Deadly Listeria Outbreak

Ryan and Eric Jensen, whose farm produced cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria that killed 35 people and sickened more than 100 others, will not serve prison time or be forced to pay a $1.5 million, a federal judge in Denver has ruled. The brothers, who apologized in court,  were sentenced to five years of probation, six months of house arrest and fined $150,000 each. In October, the brothers pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into the marketplace. The 2011 cantaloupe Listeria outbreak linked to their farm was one of the deadliest in U.S. history. In addition to the 35 deaths, seven pregnant women were infected. One of them suffered a miscarriage and three babies were born with listeriosis. The outbreak began in mid-August of 2011 and spread … [Read more...]

After Listeria Outbreak Jensen Farms Owners Sue Auditor Primus

Just weeks before a deadly Listeria outbreak was linked to Jensen Farms, Primus Labs a third-party auditor, gave the fourth generation cantaloupe farm a 96 percent, superior rating on an audit. If it hadn’t done so, lives and livelihoods could have been spared from the outbreak that sickened 146 people and killed 35, claim the farm owners in a lawsuit filed against Primus on October 15 in District Court in Prowers County, Colo. According to the complaint, Ryan and Eric Jensen say Primus “negligently gave Jensen [Farms] false information, on which Jensen reasonably relied in Jensen’s evaluation of the safety and quality of its facilities and procedures and cantaloupes.” A key point was a newly installed used processing system. During a 2010 audit, Primus subcontractor BFS “expressed … [Read more...]

Plea Agreement Reached in Cantaloupe Listeria Case

Eric and Ryan Jensen, the brothers who owned Jensen Farms, the Colorado cantaloupe farm linked to the 2011 Listeria outbreak that sickened 147 people, killed 35 and caused one miscarriage have reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, according to a document filed filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The brothers, ages 37 and 33, who were arrested September 26th and charged with six counts of adulteration of a food and aiding and abetting, would each have faced up to six years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines, if convicted of all counts after a trial by jury. The outbreak, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, was caused by unsanitary conditions on the farm including used packing equipment that was difficult to clean and standing water on the packing room … [Read more...]

Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Owners Arrested, Charged

Eric and Ryan Jensen, the owners of Jensen Farms that was the source of contaminated cantaloupe that caused a nationwide outbreak, were arrested today in Denver on charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FDA. The indictment charges the brothers with six counts of adulteration of a food and aiding and abetting. The Justice Department claims that the cantaloupe produced at Jensen Farms was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and the fruit was "prepared, packed and held under conditions which rendered it injurious to health." Documents state that the defendants had a processing center that did not clean bacteria from the product. A system was installed in May of 2011 that was originally designed to clean potatoes, which are cooked before consumption. The system was … [Read more...]

CDC Adds Three More Deaths to 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria Cantaloupe Toll

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised the official death toll of last year's Jensen Farms cantaloupe Listeria monocytogenes outbreak from 30 to 33. A total of 147 people in 28 states were part of the outbreak. In addition, seven pregnant women were sickened in this outbreak. One suffered a miscarriage, and three infants were born with listeriosis. After the government issued its final update on December 8, 2011, a fifth outbreak-associated subtype of Listeria monocytogenes was found on a cantaloupe that was in a patient's home. A search of PulseNet database identified the same subtype on a cantaloupe collected during the investigation. That subtype matches the bacteria isolated from one patient who had not been included in the outbreak total. Cantaloupe … [Read more...]

Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Listeria Cases Must Be Filed by September 14

Jensen Farms, the company that grew and shipped the cantaloupes that caused the large Listeria outbreak last summer has filed for bankruptcy. The United States Bankruptcy Court in Colorado has approved the motion, and a date has been set for filing of claims. All people who assert a claim based on the outbreak of listeriosis must file it by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on or before September 14, 2012. It's important that anyone who was affected by this outbreak file a claim to receive compensation for their injuries. The court is ordering that Jensen Farms make available $4 million in settlement money, from its insurance policy, insurers of the equipment the facility used, and from the third-party auditor who failed to discover contamination at the plant just before the outbreak … [Read more...]

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