Kansas firm recalls cantaloupe linked to Listeria outbreak
(Reuters) – A Kansas-based food processor recalled hundreds of pounds of fresh-cut cantaloupe on Friday because of possible Listeria contamination linked to melons from Colorado that were blamed for an outbreak that has killed eight people.
Carol’s Cuts was recalling 594 pounds of cantaloupe packaged in 5-pound trays and as an ingredient in fruit medleys distributed in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, a recall notice posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website said.
In addition to the eight deaths, a total of 55 people in 14 states have been sickened from Listeria-tainted cantaloupes traced to melons grown at Colorado-based Jensen Farms Inc and sold under the brand name Rocky Ford.
“The Carol’s Cuts recall is part of a larger recall involving cantaloupe traced to Rocky Ford cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms,” the recall notice said.
“Consumers who may have the recalled Carol’s Cuts product in their possession should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or destroy it,” it added.
The Food and Drug Administration said last week the tainted cantaloupes were shipped to 17 states. Not all states that have received shipments of the melons appear to have seen infections.
The recall notice said the fruit in the Carol’s Cuts recall, which had use-by dates of September 19 at the latest, was sold to institutional customers including restaurants and may have been used in salad bars or as a fruit menu item.
The Colorado company linked to the outbreak, Jensen Farms, has voluntarily recalled its cantaloupes shipped between July 29 and September 10.
Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterial strain found in the tainted cantaloupes, thrives at low temperatures, the CDC said on its website. Infection can be particularly dangerous for elderly people, pregnant women and patients with weakened immune systems, health officials said.
Previous Listeria outbreaks linked to produce were traced to sprouts and celery.
(Writing by Cynthia Johnston)
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