This is the FDA's story news release on the outbreak:
Updated September 27, 2011
FDA and its state partners are conducting checks at retail stores, wholesalers and distributors to make sure they have received notification about the Jensen Farms’ whole cantaloupe recall and that they have taken appropriate action to notify their customers and remove the recalled whole cantaloupes from the shelves.
Because some of the wholesalers and distributors may have further distributed the recalled cantaloupes to food processers, it is possible that additional products that contain cantaloupe from Jensen Farms could be recalled. Should FDA discover any information that contaminated cantaloupe is still in the marketplace, the Agency will work with the necessary parties to facilitate voluntary recalls of the product and take the necessary steps to protect the safety of the public’s health.
Consumer Safety Information
Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, about 40◦ Fahrenheit (4◦ Celsius). The longer ready-to-eat refrigerated foods are stored in the refrigerator, the more opportunity Listeria has to grow.
It is very important that consumers clean their refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces. Consumers should follow these simple steps:
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then 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 sanitization process.
Listeriosis is rare but can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups. These groups include older adults, people with compromised immune systems and unborn babies and newborns. In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious illness or death in newborn babies, though the mother herself rarely becomes seriously ill. A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches. Persons who think they might have become ill should consult their doctor.
Jensen Farms Recall
The recalled cantaloupes were shipped from July 29 through September 10, 2011 to the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
For more information on the epidemiologic investigation, please refer to CDC’s Investigation on the Multi-State Listeriosis Outbreak2.
The FDA is conducting a root-cause investigation, which includes an environmental assessment, into the multi-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to the recalled whole cantaloupes by Jensen Farms. The FDA is working with its partners, including the State of Colorado, to determine how these recalled whole cantaloupes became contaminated with Listeria.
These types of investigations, in most cases, lead to preventive practices. When the FDA has new information in its investigation, the Agency will share its findings with consumers, industry and other federal, state and local health and regulatory agencies.And this is from the Center for Disease Control:
- As of 11am EDT on September 26, 2011, a total of 72 persons infected with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 18 states. All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (15), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (10), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (8), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).
- Thirteen deaths have been reported: 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.
- Collaborative investigations by local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate the source of the outbreak is whole cantaloupe grown at Jensen Farms’ production fields in Granada, Colorado.
- On September 14, 2011, FDA issued a press release to announce that Jensen Farms issued a voluntary recall of its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes after being linked to a multistate outbreak of listeriosis.
- CDC recommends that persons at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.
- Other consumers who want to reduce their risk of Listeria infection should not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.
- Even if some of the cantaloupe has been eaten without becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures.
- Cantaloupes that are known to NOT have come from Jensen Farms are safe to eat. If consumers are uncertain about the source of a cantaloupe for purchase, they should ask the grocery store. A cantaloupe purchased from an unknown source should be discarded: "when in doubt, throw it out."
- Go to September 27, 2011 for a full report.
- More information about listeriosis and recommendations to reduce the risk of getting listeriosis from food are available at CDC’s Listeriosis webpage.
- For more information on food outbreaks, please visit CDC’s Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks page.
If you suspect yours might be from Jensen Farms, your advised to dispose of it.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
Moussawi: Well absolutely no. I mean when you take the bottom line of the American policy and when you see that the Americans are striving and doing their best in order to continue, to be present in the Iraqi soil, to continue their withdrawal, to extend their presence over there, then you know that this will be an effective tour for them when you have the ruins, the killings, the destruction is taking place on largest scale. This would put the Iraqis, and it is a way to push the Iraqis into despair, into frustration and to beg the Americans to stay there because they cannot manage the whole thing by themselves. This is a kind of pressure. This is a kind of political pressure paid for by the blood of the Iraqi innocents, the Iraqi martyrs, the women, the men and the military as well. You are talking about civilians, you are talking about combination of wars, you are talking about civilians and military people that are being the target of this kind of terrorist attacks and I believe this is going to boil down into the American interest. I cannot see in any way that the Americans are going to exercise any pressure against those terrorists or against any regional power that might support them to stop doing that, whether Saudi Arabia or not if this has been the situation.
Tell Congress it's time to end the Iraq War, not prolong it
Earlier this summer Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) asked their colleagues to sign a letter to the President urging him to bring all the troops home by the end of the year. MFSO in turn, asked our members to support them by urging their own representatives to sign this letter.
Continuing her efforts towards finally, truly ending the war in Iraq, Congresswoman Lee has written as a bill: HR 27577, the Iraq Withdrawal Accountability Act of 2011, which would require the removal of all US troops and contractors from Iraq on or before the promised deadline December 31 2011. It has reached 37 cosponsors to date. Click here to learn more and send an email to your Representative.
Flood the Super Committee Deficit Reduction Suggestion Box!
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka "The Super Committee") has been meeting to come up with the next round of budget cuts. Despite the many examples of obscene military waste on outdated equipment, fraud and negligence, it is despicable that some on Capitol Hill are talking about cutting veterans benefits and raising Tricare rates. Servicemembers, veterans, and military families have suffered enough. The Super Committee needs to hear from us: End the wars and cuts military waste, not veteran's benefits. Click here to tell them what you think should be cut.
Take Action to End the Wars
On October 6th & 7th, people will be taking action in DC and across the country to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, whether you're lobbying Congress, occupying Freedom Plaza, or building solidarity with the communities impacted by the War on Terror.
- On October 6th there will be a national call-in day to Congress demanding an end to the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. We will send out more information about this next week along with talking points.
- Make an appointment to meet with your Representative or their staff on October 6th or 7th, either in their DC or home district office. Our Representatives need to hear from military families! Click here to find your Representative's contact information.
- Join us in DC! MFSO is organizing a unique event on October 7th called War Voices, a forum bringing together veterans and military families with Afghan civilians and community and economic justice organizers and artists to reflect on a decade of war. Click here to find out more.
- Many MFSO members will also be participating in the occupation of Freedom Plaza starting on October 6th. Click here for more info and to read MFSO's statement on this protest.
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson – MFSO Co-Founders
Oskar Castro, Samantha Miller, Liz Rocci, and Clarissa Rogers -- MFSO Staff
However in early September, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki approved a new formulation of the same law and again, has sent it to parliament for approval.
Several important, and potentially even more controversial, things changed in this version.
The draft law makes a national Iraqi oil company the ultimate authority in the formulation of policies, orders on procedures for drilling and production and in the signing of deals with investors. The council heading the Iraqi National Oil Company (or INOC) would have control over all the oil fields that are already producing crude.
This means the council at the top of the INOC gets a lot more authority -- under the old version of the law, the council could only draw up policies and issue instructions.
The INOC would also get authority over the bidding for almost all of Iraq's oil and gas fields; previously they were only able to conduct auctions on new -- read: undiscovered, undeveloped -- fields.
The new draft of the law also eliminates an important clause that said that the INOC's authority must include representation from Shiite Muslim parties, Sunni Muslim parties and from the Kurdish sector. It also reserves a seat on the council for the deputy prime minister for energy -- currently this is Hussein al-Shahristani, well known as a close ally of al-Maliki's.
None of this has gone down well with Kurdish politicians, both in Baghdad and in their own semi-autonomous state of Iraqi Kurdistan. Who owns the oil fields inside the Kurdish region, which has its own government and its own legislation, has long been a contentious issue between the Arab government in Baghdad and the Kurdish one in Erbil.
Peter Van Buren is a State Dept employee and the author of the new book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (American Empire Project) which hit bookstore shelves yesterday. Peter Van Buren's book charts 2009, not the more distant past, not the Bush era. As a result of truth telling about what went on in Iraq under Barack, the administration has been targeting Van Buren. From his "Freedom Isn't Free at the State Department" (TomDispatch via Truthout):
On the same day that more than 250,000 unredacted State Department cables hemorrhaged out onto the Internet, I was interrogated for the first time in my 23-year State Department career by State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and told I was under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information. The evidence of my crime? A posting on my blog from the previous month that included a link to a WikiLeaks document already available elsewhere on the Web.
As we sat in a small, gray, windowless room, resplendent with a two-way mirror, multiple ceiling-mounted cameras, and iron rungs on the table to which handcuffs could be attached, the two DS agents stated that the inclusion of that link amounted to disclosing classified material. In other words, a link to a document posted by who-knows-who on a public website available at this moment to anyone in the world was the legal equivalent of me stealing a Top Secret report, hiding it under my coat, and passing it to a Chinese spy in a dark alley.
Peter Van Buren and Tom Engelhardt connect the targeting of Van Buren with the targeting of others in the alleged era of Obama Openess in "WikiLeaked at the State Department" (Antiwar.com):
It's hardly a secret at this late date that, while the Obama administration arrived in office promoting "a new standard of openness" in government, in practice it's cast not sunshine, but a penumbra of gloom over the workings of Washington. Talk about a closed and punitive crew. Its Justice Department has notoriously gone after government whistleblowers and leakers, launching significantly more (largely unsuccessful) prosecutions than any of Obama's predecessors. His people lit out with particular ferocity after WikiLeaks, and specifically Bradley Manning, the young Army private accused of passing enormous caches of Army and State Department documents to that website. In the process, the administration developed special forms of pre-punishment to torment him while he was confined, still uncharged, at a Marine brig in Quantico, Va. (It also went to ludicrous lengths to bar government officials, workers, contractors, the military, and anyone else linked to them from reading the leaked documents to which everyone else on Earth already had access.)
peter van buren