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Although state officials are monitoring a listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes grown in Colorado, so far there have been no reports of illness or of the product being shipped to Utah.
Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., is recalling shipments of Rocky Ford Whole Cantaloupe because they have the potential to be contaminated with listeria. The outbreak has killed at least two people and sickened 22 in seven states, mostly in the West.
Charla Haley, spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Health, said at this point there are no reports of the product being distributed in the state, despite Utah being on a federal list saying there was distribution.
Listeria is a bacterium that can contaminate foods and usually causes a mild non-invasive illness, although a more severe or life-threatening illness can result. People at the greatest risk are pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
Jensen Farms is recalling Rocky Ford Cantaloupe shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 that was distributed to at least 17 states, federal officials said.
The cantaloupes are packed in cartons labeled as Frontera Produce, http://www.fronteraproduce.com, or with Frontera Produce, Rocky Ford Cantaloupes. Both cartons also include the wording, "Grown and packed by Jensen Farms Granada, CO and Shipped by Frontera Produce LTD, Edinburg, Texas."
Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker, so consumers should consult retailers if they have questions about the origin of a product.
Listeria is found in soil, water and some animals, including poultry and cattle, said federal health officials.
The bacterium has been associated with such foods as raw milk, pasteurized fluid milk, cheeses (particularly soft-ripened varieties), ice cream, raw vegetables, fermented raw-meat sausages, raw and cooked poultry, raw meats and raw and smoked fish.
Deli meats, hot dogs and cheeses are the most frequent carriers, while outbreaks in produce are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control.