Latest Safety Consumer Information Latest Safety Consumer Information
U.S.Food and Drug Administration

The FDA continues to review its distribution records and recall effectiveness checks in the Jensen Farms’ whole cantaloupe recall. The FDA has received new information from Jensen Farms1 that it shipped the recalled cantaloupes directly to three additional states: Indiana, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

Through its ongoing review, the FDA has determined that the following states did not receive direct distribution of the recalled whole cantaloupes from Jensen Farms: California, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Secondary and tertiary distribution to these states still cannot be ruled out, as the FDA and state regulatory partners continue to perform recall audits and review distribution records.

In addition to the three new states added to Jensen Farms’ distribution list, the FDA has already verified that the following states received recalled cantaloupes directly from Jensen Farms: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. There is no indication of foreign distribution at this time.

Jensen Farms voluntarily recalled2 its whole cantaloupes on Sept. 14 in response to the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis. Cantaloupes from other farms have not been linked to this outbreak.

FDA has received confirmation that 100% of the direct accounts that received Jensen Farms’ whole cantaloupes are being contacted.

The recalled cantaloupes were produced from the end of July to September 10, 2011. Given that the Jensen Farms’ recall has been in effect for more than two weeks and that the shelf life of a cantaloupe is approximately two weeks, it is expected that all of the recalled whole Jensen Farms cantaloupes have been removed from the marketplace.

Since some of the wholesalers and distributors may have further distributed the recalled cantaloupes to food processers, it is possible that additional products that contain cantaloupe from Jensen Farms could be recalled.

Consumer Safety Information

Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, about 40◦ Fahrenheit (4◦ Celsius). The longer ready-to-eat refrigerated foods are stored in the refrigerator, the more opportunity Listeria has to grow.

It is very important that consumers clean their refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces. Consumers should follow these simple steps: Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used. Wipe up spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the refrigerator regularly. Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitization process.

The FDA advises consumers not to eat the recalled cantaloupes and to throw them away. Do not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the cantaloupe. Cutting, slicing and dicing may also transfer harmful bacteria from the fruit’s surface to the fruit’s flesh.

Listeriosis is rare but can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups. These groups include older adults, people with compromised immune systems and unborn babies and newborns. In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious illness or death in newborn babies, though the mother herself rarely becomes seriously ill. A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches.Persons who think they might have become ill should consult their doctor.

For more information on the epidemiologic investigation, please refer to CDC’s Investigation on the Multi-State Listeriosis Outbreak3.

FDA’s Investigation

The FDA is conducting a root-cause investigation, which includes an environmental assessment, into the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to the recalled whole cantaloupes by Jensen Farms. The FDA is working with its partners, including the State of Colorado, to determine how these recalled whole cantaloupes became contaminated with Listeria.

These types of investigations, in most cases, lead to preventive practices. When the FDA has new information in its investigation, the Agency will share its findings with consumers, industry and other federal, state and local health and regulatory agencies