EP1206:†††††††††† Collaboration Between FDA and Local Agencies to Assess the 2011 Multistate Cantaloupe Listeria monocytogenes Outbreak


Speaker:††††††††† Tracy S. DuVernoy, DVM, MPH, DACVPM


Last year was the first time a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak had been linked to whole cantaloupe. Attend this session to hear about how FDA collaborated with state and federal partners to work to identify the factors on the farm that may have contributed to this unusual outbreak.†††




In early September 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned of a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes associated with exposure to fresh cantaloupe marketed from the Rocky Ford growing region of Colorado. A majority of illnesses were traced back to a single producer, Jensen Farms of Holly, CO. Following the firmís voluntary recall of its cantaloupes, FDAís Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) network, working with state and federal regulatory partners, visited 3 different Jensen Farms cantaloupe-growing sites to conduct an environmental assessment (EA) to try to determine the source of (or contributing factors to) the outbreak.


Agricultural production practices, and harvest and post-harvest operations were evaluated to identify potential areas of concern that may have fostered pathogen introduction and / or proliferation.† The EA identified factors that may have contributed to the contamination of whole, fresh cantaloupe that caused the outbreak.†