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Food Safety News

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Publisher’s Platform: Three Years Since People Died From Cantaloupe

Primus’ 'Scorched Earth' Litigation Strategy Will Change Audit Industry, Retailer Responsibility Next


It has been almost three long years since dusty Holly, Colorado, became the epicenter of a Listeria monocytogenes human tragedy. Many are painfully aware that litigation has been ongoing since the fall of 2011. The litigation stems from one of the deadliest foodborne illness outbreaks in U.S. history. At least 147 people were sickened, and… Continue Reading

Kroger Claims Primus Has Primary Liability for Deadly Listeria Outbreak

Sues Third Party Auditor Used By Jensen Farms

It was called an unusual move last year when the Colorado cantaloupe growers who relied upon the Primus Group sued their third-party food-safety auditor, claiming that the inspector the company sent them provided misleading advice and “erroneously” represented himself as having “professional” expertise. Last week, however, a third-party auditor being sued over an outbreak of… Continue Reading

Cantaloupe Death Brings Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Louisiana’s 26th Judicial District Court in Bossier Parish on behalf of the estate of Francis Gilbert, who died after eating Colorado-grown cantaloupe last year that was contaminated with Listeria. The lawsuit, brought by the personal representative of the estate, Kathleen Buchanan, names the cantaloupe distributor, Frontera Produce,… Continue Reading

Today: Walmart, Kroger, Primus. Tomorrow: You?


Last week, Jensen Farms, the grower of the cantaloupe implicated in the Listeria outbreak of 2011, filed for bankruptcy. Prominently listed in the filing were lawsuits associated with the outbreak, from which 146 people were sickened and 36 died. According to the Denver Post, Jensen’s attorney said the filing should free up millions of dollars… Continue Reading

Serious Questions About Third-Party Audits

On Jan. 10, 2012, a Congressional House report was issued on the government’s investigation into the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak. The report provided some very interesting findings and lessons not only for and about Jensen Farms but for and about the industry as a whole. Conducted by the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce, the investigation… Continue Reading

Congressional Probe Finds Many to Blame for Listeria Cantaloupe Outbreak

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce might have substituted a photo for its brief investigation report, released Tuesday, on the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection from contaminated cantaloupes at Colorado’s Jensen Farms. That imaginary photograph would have brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen from Jensen Farms; Will Steele and Amy Gates, the CEO and… Continue Reading

Top Food Safety Stories of 2011: No. 2

America’s most deadly incidence of foodborne illness in a century was 2011’s second-most important food safety story — the outbreak of listeriosis linked to whole cantaloupes from Jensen Farms, CO, that spread over 28 states, infecting 146 mostly elderly Americans. In its final report on the outbreak, issued Dec. 8, the Centers for Disease Control and… Continue Reading

Listeria Cantaloupe Outbreak Ends As Most Deadly in 100 Years

A 28-state Listeria outbreak is over, with the sad distinction of being the most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness in the United States in 100 years. In the end, one out of every five of the victims died from the Listeria contamination spread by a locally grown but widely distributed variety of cantaloupes from Colorado…. Continue Reading