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Citizens warned of recalls

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services of two additional confirmed cases of Listeriosis in Missouri associated with the national of cantaloupe produced by Jensen Farms, of Holly, Colo.

A total of three Listeriosis cases in Missouri have been confirmed by the CDC and are linked to the recalled cantaloupe. All three cases were hospitalized and one individual, age 94, has died. According to local medical officials, the immediate cause of death was not the Listeriosis infection.

On Sept. 14 Jensen Farms voluntarily recalled their shipments of Rocky Ford whole cantaloupe because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria.

L. monocytogenes is a bacterium that can contaminate foods and cause a mild non-invasive illness called listerial gastroenteritis or a severe, sometimes life-threatening, illness called invasive listeriosis. Persons who have the greatest risk of experiencing listeriosis after consuming foods contaminated with L. monocytogenes are fetuses and newborns who are infected after the mother is exposed during pregnancy, the elderly and persons with weakened systems.

Listeria bacteria are most commonly found in raw foods. Vegetables can be contaminated by soil and water carrying bacteria. Listeria is also found in raw animal products, such as meat and cheese.

The whole cantaloupe in question were shipped nationwide between July 29 and Sept. 10. The cantaloupe have a green and white sticker that reads "Product of USA-Frontera Produce-Colorado Fresh-Rocky Ford-Cantaloupe," or a gray, yellow and green sticker that reads "Jensen Farms-Sweet Rocky Fords." If the entire cantaloupe is unlabeled, one should contact the retail store where the fruit was purchased for sourcing information. Consumers that have one of these cantaloupe should throw it away immediately.

State and local health officials across Missouri continue to search for additional contaminated cantaloupe still for sale, but at this point officials have not found any contaminated product still on the shelves.

People with normal immune systems can prevent Listeria by: thoroughly cooking raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork or poultry; washing raw vegetables before eating; keeping uncooked meats separate from vegetables and cooked foods; avoiding products made with unpasteurized milk; washing hands and cooking utensils after handling uncooked foods; and consuming perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

Consumers with questions may contact Jensen Farms via e-mail at recall@rfordcantaloupe.com or phone 1-800-267-4561. To view recall notices visit health.mo.gov.

Other recent recalls includes 90 cartons of chopped romaine lettuce from True Leaf Farms, of Salinas, Calif. The California farm issued a voluntary lettuce recall over Listeria contamination concerns. The notice has gone to 19 states and Canada.

The recalled product was shipped between Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 to an institutional food service distributor in Oregon who further distributed it to at least two additional states. The romaine affected by this recall has a "use by date" of Sept. 29, 2011. The recalled bags of romaine were packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons and distributed by Church Brothers, LLC. Produce affected by the recall was labeled as 2# bags, chopped romaine - bag and box code B256-46438-8. No illnesses have been reported.

Andrew Willliamson Fresh Produce is voluntarily recalling one lot of organic grape tomatoes sold under the Limited Edition and Fresh and Easy labels due to a possible health risk from salmonella.

The organic grape tomatoes are sold in 10.5-ounce plastic clam shell containers with the UPC code 033383655925. The containers also have the words Limited Edition and Product of Mexico printed on the label. The organic grape tomatoes are also sold in 7-ounce plastic clam shell containers with bar code 20025465 and marketed under the Fresh and Easy brand.

The product was distributed to 18 states, including Missouri. No illnesses have been reported in association with this product.

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