Cantaloupes linked to a multistate outbreak of Listeria infection were sold in Wisconsin Aldi stores, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has confirmed.
Two cases of listeriosis among Wisconsin residents have been linked to the multistate outbreak, although they have not been linked to cantaloupe purchased at Aldi.
The whole melons from Jensen Farms in Colorado, sold under the brand name Rocky Ford, were shipped to Aldi stores within Wisconsin between Aug. 16 and Sept. 13.
Once notified of the Jensen Farms recall, Aldi stores promptly removed the melons from their sales floors Sept. 13 and issued a nationwide recall. However, some may remain in consumers’ homes. The department is still determining whether other Wisconsin retail stores also received the cantaloupes.
Consumers who purchased Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes at Aldi, or are unsure of where melons originated, should discard any remaining cantaloupes. Even if they already ate some of the cantaloupes and did not become ill, they should still throw it away, because listeria has a long incubation period.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends:
Dispose of any remaining cantaloupes in a closed plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can. This will prevent people and animals from eating them.
Do not attempt to wash off the bacteria, as it is possible the cantaloupe also contains Listeria on the inside.
Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
Wipe up spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the refrigerator regularly.
Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
The cantaloupe may be labeled: Colorado Grown, Distributed by Frontera Produce, USA, Pesticide Free, Jensenfarms.com, Sweet Rocky Fords.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection have been working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on this investigation.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The disease primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and newborns.
A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has invasive infection (meaning that the bacteria spread from their intestines to the bloodstream or other body sites).
Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the high-risk category, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, who experience flu-like symptoms within 2 months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the physician or health care provider about eating the contaminated food.
The symptoms vary with the infected person:
High-risk persons other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
Pregnant women: They typically experience only mild, flu-like illness. However, infection during pregnancy
can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Healthy persons. Healthy persons occasionally develop invasive listeriosis.
In addition, persons exposed to a very large dose of Listeria can develop a non-invasive illness with diarrhea and fever (meaning that the bacteria do not spread into their blood stream or other sites).
For more information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html