Navigation Links
FDA: Dirty Conditions Likely to Blame for Listeria Outbreak at Cantaloupe Farm
Date:10/19/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes produced at a Colorado farm that has been blamed for 25 deaths so far seems to have been caused by unsanitary conditions at the farm, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Inspections on Sept. 22 and 23 by federal and state authorities at the Jensen Farms packing facility in Granada found "unsanitary conditions where the [fruit] may have become adulterated," Sherri McGarry, senior advisor at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's CORE Network, said during a news conference.

Inspectors said the layout of the farm's packing facility allowed water to pool on the floor, making it hard to clean the floor and the equipment used to pack the melons -- and that could have served as a conduit for the germ to latch onto the fruit.

In addition, Jensen Farms did not cool its cantaloupes before placing them in cold storage, which may have caused condensation promoting the growth of listeria, McGarry said.

"We have no reason to believe, at this time, that these practices are indicative of practices throughout the industry," she said.

The plant, which was registered with the FDA in 2010, had never been inspected and was not due to be inspected for five to seven years, she added.

"The tragic deaths and illness from this outbreak have again demonstrated the need to continually address and improve food-safety practices," U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said at the news conference.

The Associated Press said messages left for the farm's owners were not immediately returned.

The health toll from the listeria outbreak now stands at 123 people sickened across 26 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported late Tuesday.

The agency said that even though the cantaloupes in question were recalled in mid-September, more cases might still emerge since Listeria monocytogenes infection has a long lag time between diagnosis and laboratory confirmation "and also because up to two months can elapse between eating contaminated food and developing listerosis."

The listeriosis-linked deaths have occurred in Colorado (6), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2) and Wyoming (1). The people who have died ranged in age from 48 to 96, the CDC said.

One pregnant woman who contracted the illness had a miscarriage, the CDC said.

Pennsylvania has reported its first case of infection, the agency said Tuesday.

On Sept. 14, the agency announced that Jensen Farms had voluntarily recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes and the produce was "now off store shelves." Consumers -- especially older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women -- should discard this brand of cantaloupe if it is in their refrigerator, the agency said. Other brands of cantaloupe are safe to consume, however.

At a recent news conference, CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden called the cantaloupe-linked outbreak "the deadliest outbreak of a foodborne disease that we've identified in more than a decade."

Unlike other bacteria, listeria can flourish in colder temperatures. So, "if you've got a contaminated cantaloupe in your refrigerator, the listeria will continue to grow," Frieden said. "That's one of the reasons why we may see continued cases from cantaloupe already in people's refrigerators in the days and weeks ahead."

Although listeria tends to infect fewer people, it is typically deadlier than other foodborne germs and disproportionately affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system. People can develop meningitis from the organism, but many people only experience milder diarrhea.

According to the CDC, some 1,600 cases are reported annually in the United States, resulting in 260 deaths.

The bacterium tends to grow in soil and water. But animals can also carry the germ and pass it on to humans through meats, dairy products and other foods of animal origins. Most listeria outbreaks are from animal products, not produce, the CDC said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on listeria.

SOURCES: Oct. 19, 2011 news conference with Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Sherri McGarry, senior advisor, CORE Network, Office of Foods, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Oct. 18, 2011, news release, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sept. 28, 2011, news conference with Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stress May Worsen Lung Function in Kids Breathing Dirty Air
2. Dirty mouths lead to broken hearts
3. Dirty hands, dirty mouths: U-M study finds a need to clean the body part that lies
4. Dirty Hands Could be Making Australian Kids Ill
5. Spring into Summer with The Dirty Dozen Guide to Playground Safety
6. Give dirty mouths a brush
7. U.S. Pays a Price for Dirty Air
8. Study: 85 percent of homeless people have chronic health conditions
9. Smokers with comorbid conditions need help from their doctor to quit
10. Hormone therapy may be hazardous for men with heart conditions
11. U.S. Makes It Easier to Get Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
FDA: Dirty Conditions Likely to Blame for Listeria Outbreak at Cantaloupe Farm
(Date:8/18/2017)... New York (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 ... ... leading manufacturers and marketers of high-quality anti-aging skincare solutions, recently announced ... Serum. These new products are an affordable, yet effective alternative to expensive plastic ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... “Prompted By Love”: a love story thrown into doubt ... Nettles. Author Mary P. Nettles has devoted her life to ministry since the ... lifelong desire to write was, however, not fulfilled until 2014 when "The Color of ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... “Case ... Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “Case #10-5411 Veterans Administration” is the creation of ... abuse. In June 1990, Carol Mulhem started work at the Coatesville VAMC ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... organizations and considered extremely effective, very effective, or effective by 85% of respondents, ... , NEJM Catalyst Insights Reports are based on surveys of the NEJM Catalyst ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... , ... When Amy Cowperthwait left the emergency room after 28 ... dream to make nursing education more relevant and prepare aspiring nurses to address both ... healthcare provider education. , “The human element was missing. Students were learning ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/2/2017)... , Aug. 2, 2017 CaryRx, a next-generation full-service ... delivery service for patients in the Washington D.C. ... retail pharmacy by providing delivery of medications through the convenience ... future delivery or delivered within one hour to any location ... excited to bring this invaluable service to Washington ...
(Date:7/31/2017)... , July 31, 2017 7D Surgical, developer ... Medical has purchased the 7D Surgical System to support its ... Washington D.C. and Virginia.  7D Surgical has ... for many of the premier medical facilities within those markets. ... ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST ) today announced ... financial guidance for the full-year 2017. ... Reported net sales of $397.6 million, a record high, ... constant currency (organic) grew by 3.9%. ... in the prior-year quarter. Second-quarter 2017 adjusted diluted EPS ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: