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Cantaloupe Food Poisoning Lawsuits

Cantaloupe Food Poisoning Lawsuits

Cantaloupe has been linked to several deadly outbreaks of food poisoning involving Salmonella and Listeria. Although rare, these infections have a high risk of life-threatening complications — Listeria has a 20-30% mortality rate. The infections are usually most serious in children, older adults, and pregnant women.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting cantaloupe food poisoning cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has experienced food poisoning as a result of eating cantaloupe, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

UPDATE: Cantaloupe Listeria Lawsuits Settled

February 12, 2015 — Victims of an outbreak of Listeria linked to cantaloupe have reached an undisclosed settlement. Click here to read more.

September 27, 2013 — Criminal charges filed against owners of cantaloupe farm linked to deadly Listeria outbreak in 2011. Click here to read more.

August 20, 2012 — A deadly outbreak of cantaloupe food poisoning has sickened 141 people, killed 2, and hospitalized 31 people across 20 states. The cantaloupes were contaminated with Salmonella. The outbreak was traced to one farm in southwestern Indiana.

Cantaloupe Food Poisoning Outbreak

In 2011, an outbreak of Listeria was linked to cantaloupe grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado. According to the CDC outbreak investigation, the outbreak infected 147 people in 28 states. One pregnant woman had a miscarriage. Ten other deaths not attributed to listeriosis occurred in people who were infected with an outbreak-associated strain of Listeria.

In September 2013, the owners of Jensen Farms were arrested on six criminal charges stemming from the food poisoning outbreak. Investigators from the CDC and FDA found that the brothers were using processing equipment that was previously used on raw potatoes. Although the system was designed with a chlorine spray, it was never used to wash the cantaloupe. If convicted, each man faces up to six years in federal prison and $250,000 per charge.

What is Listeria?

Listeria monocytogenes is a form of bacteria which can cause Listeriosis, a rare, but potentially lethal food-borne infection, caused by eating contaminated food. Usually it is contracted from eating deli meats, soft cheeses, hot dogs and dairy products that have been contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Listeria may also be found in uncooked meats, uncooked vegetables, unpasteurized milk and some processed foods.

While pasteurization and cooking can usually kill Listeria monocytogenes, contamination may occur between cooking and packaging. Additionally, refrigeration may cause Listeria bacteria to grow and multiply in some foods.

Antibiotics can potentially cure Listeriosis, but even with treatment, some cases can result in death. According to the CDC, normally about 1,6000 people become ill with Listeriosis each year. Those most at risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Newborns
  • Persons with weakened immune systems as a result of transplant or certain diseases, therapies or medications
  • Persons with cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, and liver or kidney disease
  • Persons with AIDS
  • Older adults

Most healthy persons can consume Listeria-contaminated foods without becoming ill. However, in rare cases, persons without these risks can also contract infection.

Symptoms of a Listeriosis

Listeriosis infection can cause symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions
  • Other gastrointestinal symptoms

While a pregnant woman will only experience minor flu-like symptoms, it may be seriously harmful to her unborn child. Listeriosis infections during pregnancy can cause:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature delivery
  • Life-threatening infection of the newborn

Due to the severity of these symptoms, people who have contracted Listeriosis after eating cantaloupe may want to contact a lawyer or attorney with The Schmidt Firm, PLLC to discuss the possibility of a food-poisoning lawsuit.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Warning

As of September 13, 2011, the CDC has confirmed 16 cases of Listeriosis in five states, all starting after August 15. The CDC has confirmed 11 cases in Colorado, 2 in Texas, and one each in Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Laboratory tests have traced the infections back to consumption of cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado.

As the CDC warning stated:

“CDC recommends that persons at high risk for Listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat cantaloupes marketed as coming from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado.”

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet recalled the melons as it works towards confirming the source. While most FDA recalls are voluntary, the FDA can authorize a recall as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. For this to occur, the FDA must have some evidence there is a “reasonable probability that an article of food . . . will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.”

Do I Have a Cantaloupe Listeriosis Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting cantaloupe food poisoning cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has experienced food poisoning as a result of eating cantaloupe, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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