The Food and Drug Administration traced the outbreak to unsanitary conditions at a Colorado farm packing facility where the cantaloupes were washed, boxed and shipped out. The owners of Jensen Farms went bankrupt and pleaded guilty to six misdemeanors in the case.
Will Steele, president of Frontera Produce, a broker and shipper of the fruit, said in a prepared statement that "the matter is in the process of being resolved. Settlement documents have been exchanged with the plaintiffs, and the parties anticipate that those documents will be signed by all the required parties...We believe a final settlement of all claims will be reached soon.”
Last year, an outbreak of listeria in pre-packaged caramel apples killed at least three people and hospitalized 29 in 10 states.
Outbreaks of listeria in food are rare but dangerous. The bacteria is a particular threat to elderly people and people with compromised immune systems.