13 people are dead and 72 sickened from cantaloupes contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Monday morning. The outbreak is one of the most deadly in recent years.
The contaminated melons came from the family-owned Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado and were shipped between July 29 and September 10. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of the fruit on September 14 after an investigation.
People with healthy immune systems usually do not get listeriosis, the infection caused by ingesting the bacteria. However, for individuals with weak immune systems—such as the elderly—its symptoms include fever and muscle aches, preceded by gastrointestinal problems. Pregnant women experience only mild flu-like symptoms, but listeriosis during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or a potentially fatal infection of the newborn.
In the current outbreak, the elderly have been the most affected.
“The testing services provided by EMSL Analytical, Inc. help companies and consumers avoid food poisoning tragedies such as this one,” states Joseph Frasca, Senior VP at EMSL. “We devote an entire department solely to food testing, which includes the analysis of Listeria.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical Inc. is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. In addition, the company offers a large variety of air sampling equipment, sampling cassettes and monitoring equipment. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to AIHA IHLAP, AIHA EMLAP, AIHA ELLAP, A2LA, NVLAP, CDC Elite, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX Department of State Health Services, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations.