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Listeria Cause May Be Dirty Equipment

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

The Food and Drug Administration says the deadly listeria outbreak in cantaloupe was probably caused by pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean packing equipment at a Colorado farm. So far, the outbreak has killed 25 people in a dozen states including Nebraska.

The FDA said Wednesday that contamination at the packing facility at Jensen Farms is likely to blame for the outbreak. Investigators found positive listeria samples on equipment and fruit there.

The government said Jensen Farms had recently purchased used equipment that was corroded and hard to clean. The agency said the way the cantaloupes were cooled after coming off the fields may have also contributed to listeria growth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak sickened 123 people, including the 25 who have died.


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