A total of 35 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. All illnesses started on or after August 4, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (12), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (4), New Mexico (5), Oklahoma (6), Texas (3), and West Virginia (1). Four deaths have been reported, one in Colorado, one in Oklahoma, and two in New Mexico.
Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies have linked this outbreak to eating whole cantaloupe from Jensen Farms, of Holly, Colorado.
On September 14, 2011, FDA issued a press release to announce that Jensen Farms issued a voluntary recall of Rocky Ford Cantaloupe because the cantaloupes have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria and may be linked to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis.
CDC recommends that persons at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms. Other consumers who want to reduce their risk of Listeria infection should not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.