Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why can you be arrested for killer cantaloupe?

In 2011, a deadly listeria outbreak killed 33 and hospitalized 147. Cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in southeastern Colorado was the source of the outbreak.

Image courtesy News21 National

FDA inspectors found unsanitary conditions in the Jensen Farms cantaloupe packing facility, where cantaloupes were processed on potato cleaning equipment without using a chlorine wash.

This week, the government filed criminal misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce against Eric and Ryan Jensen, who own the cantaloupe packing facility. Trial is scheduled for December 1, 2013. The brothers each face up to six years in prison and a $1.5 million dollar fine.

This case is the second of its kind brought this year. In February, the government charged four former employees of Peanut Corporation of America with scheming to manufacture and ship tainted peanuts. Their peanuts became peanut butter tainted with salmonella, which killed nine and sickened hundreds in 2009.

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