October 19, 2011
Answers are beginning to surface as to how the deadly Listeria outbreak that has swept the nation began following a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation at Jensen Farms in Colorado. According to CBS-Denver, the agency has cited contaminated equipment and pools of water in the farm’s packinghouse as the source of the bacteria.
Reports indicate that the farm bought used equipment for the packinghouse in July and had it installed shortly thereafter, right around the time the outbreak began. Officials say that the equipment, previously used to sort potatoes, was hard to clean and dirty at the time of purchase, leading investigators to believe the bacteria could have been brought in on the equipment. Testing confirmed contamination on the surface of the equipment.
A nearby truck used to haul cattle could also be a source say investigators. The disease can be spread through fecal matter, and it is probable also that an employee or equipment tracked the bacteria in through that waste.
Also confirmed through testing was that pools of water on the floor of the packinghouse created a cool, moist environment where the bacteria thrived and reproduced.
Agency officials sent Jensen Farms a warning letter, but are still considering what action will be taken against the farm.
The Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers at the McDivitt Law Firm want to know how you think the FDA should handle Jensen Farms. Should they be put out of business, face criminal prosecution, or just receive stern warnings and hefty fines? Give us your opinion on our Facebook page.