Eric Jensen, co-owner of the Colorado Farm where officials say a national listeria outbreak originated, has caused quite a stir because dozens of people have gotten sick and 16 people have died up to this point. Jensen has no idea of how his cantaloupes became infected, and neither does the Food and Drug Administration.
Business has come to a screeching halt and cantaloupes are not growing or being shipped since the outbreak occurred September 10, 2011.
The article highlights the effects of this recall on the town of Holly which has been hit by hard blizzards and tornadoes in the past year. In addition, there are concerns about more people getting sick from the cantaloupe because listeria can be in your system up to two months before sickness develops. Sherri McGarry, senior adviser in the FDA’s Office of Foods said the agency is looking at the farm’s water supply and the possiblility that animals may have carried the virus to the Jensen Farms’ fields.
I remember a client who was raising ducks and came to Midwest Laboratories in a panic because he was losing ducks at a rapid pace. An analysis of the well water indicate very high, dangerous levels of e.coli and coliform. With proper treatment the wells were treated and the client’s issue was resolved. Finding the source of the contamination is the key and steps need to be taken to test the water in the field and where it comes in contact with the produce when washing it.
This incident should be a reminder to all of us to insure that well water should be tested on a regular basis to insure the water is safe and can come in contact with food produce. In addition, it is a good idea to have your private wells tested on a regular basis to insure the water is safe for drinking.
Check out the complete article, “Fear in Colo. town at heart of Listeria outbreak” and continue to take steps on your own part to make sure your food is safe.
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