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Old 09-15-2011, 10:01 AM
 
103 posts, read 323,367 times
Reputation: 244

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Just some damage control for the unfortunate set of circumstances that have befallen Rocky Ford area cantaloupe farmers......

Most of the news reports still imply that the suspect cantaloupe causing the recent listeria outbtreak came from Rocky Ford/Swink/La Junta area. IT DID NOT .... it came from Jensen Farms in Holly which is in the lower Arkansas Valley, but some 84 miles east of the home of this famous and SAFE cantaloupe growing region.

Media (even Today Show, etc.) was quick to jump on it, but does not seem too excited to do follow-up reporting on a devastating blow to farmers in the immediate Rocky Ford area.

In fact, go to http://www.visitlajunta.net/farm.html for a list of farm markets in the area that have SAFE Colorado cantaloupe that you can't get in King Soopers, etc....because they pulled the cantaloupe grown on the Rocky Ford area farms from the shelf!!!!


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Old 09-15-2011, 11:54 AM
 
15,114 posts, read 17,967,324 times
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It's been on the news here in GJ and there was a report on CNN early this morning. Sad news indeed. Yes, I take national news w/ a grain of salt, am hoping the farmers out there in your area can weather the storm regarding this issue.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:10 PM
 
42,662 posts, read 33,212,111 times
Reputation: 25763
Reminds me of the gulf oil spill.

Went on vacation south of tampa that year and the place was 1/2 full....friggin national news media hurt the hard working people of the gulf as much as BP.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:25 PM
 
616 posts, read 635,163 times
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Monsanto experiment?
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: CO
2,484 posts, read 5,396,075 times
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To add to this thread so all the readers and commentators here (both the concerned and the snarky) are aware, the farm that grew the suspected tainted cantaloupes has voluntarily recalled the melons and is cooperating in the investigation:

Jensen Farms Recalls Cantaloupe Due to Possible Health Risk


Quote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 14, 2011 - Jensen Farms, of Holly, CO is voluntarily recalling their shipments of Rocky Ford whole cantaloupe because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria. The company is working with the State of Colorado and the FDA to inform consumers of this recall. L. monocytogenes is a bacterium that can contaminate foods and cause a mild non-invasive illness (called listerial gastroenteritis) or a severe, sometimes life-threatening, illness (called invasive listeriosis). Persons who have the greatest risk of experiencing listeriosis after consuming foods contaminated with L. monocytogenes are fetuses and neonates who are infected after the mother is exposed to L. monocytogenes during pregnancy, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.

The whole cantaloupes in question were shipped between July 29th, 2011 and September 10th 2011, and distributed to the following states: IL, WY, TN, UT, TX, CO, MN, KS, NM, NC, MO, NE, OK, AZ, NJ, NY, PA. The whole cantaloupes have a green and white sticker that reads: Product of USA- Frontera Produce-Colorado Fresh-Rocky Ford-Cantaloupe or a gray, yellow, and green sticker that reads: Jensen Farms-Sweet Rocky Fords. If the whole cantaloupe is unlabeled, please contact your retail store for sourcing information. Jensen Farms is requesting any consumer that many have one of these cantaloupes to please destroy the products.

The recall involves only whole cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms, and no other commodities are involved. Jensen Farms feels it is prudent to participate in the recall as the State of Colorado has stated (in their September 12th, 2011 press release) that people at a high risk for infection should not eat whole cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region. . . .
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:16 PM
 
103 posts, read 323,367 times
Reputation: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzco View Post
To add to this thread so all the readers and commentators here (both the concerned and the snarky) are aware, the farm that grew the suspected tainted cantaloupes has voluntarily recalled the melons and is cooperating in the investigation:

Jensen Farms Recalls Cantaloupe Due to Possible Health Risk
The recall involves only whole cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms, and no other commodities are involved. Jensen Farms feels it is prudent to participate in the recall as the State of Colorado has stated (in their September 12th, 2011 press release) that people at a high risk for infection should not eat whole cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region. . . .
There is the issue.....this cantaloupe was a Rocky Ford Sweet variety grown some 84 miles from the Rocky Ford region. No different than a Vidalia onion being grown in Brighton. Rocky Ford Sweet was the variety not the area. Totally different produce handlers, shippers, etc. Why is Rocky Ford being indicted? Does this mean that if there were farms in Denver that were suspect, that the Denver region would include Colorado Springs, Limon, Cheyenne, Silverthorn and the Colo. State Line?
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
8,489 posts, read 9,324,664 times
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I have plenty of cantalopes from my garden. For sale, only $100.00 each.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:53 PM
 
Location: CO
2,484 posts, read 5,396,075 times
Reputation: 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzco View Post
To add to this thread so all the readers and commentators here (both the concerned and the snarky) are aware, the farm that grew the suspected tainted cantaloupes has voluntarily recalled the melons and is cooperating in the investigation:

Jensen Farms Recalls Cantaloupe Due to Possible Health Risk
Quote:
Originally Posted by la junta econ devel View Post
The recall involves only whole cantaloupe shipped by Jensen Farms, and no other commodities are involved. Jensen Farms feels it is prudent to participate in the recall as the State of Colorado has stated (in their September 12th, 2011 press release) that people at a high risk for infection should not eat whole cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region. . . .
There is the issue.....this cantaloupe was a Rocky Ford Sweet variety grown some 84 miles from the Rocky Ford region. No different than a Vidalia onion being grown in Brighton. Rocky Ford Sweet was the variety not the area. Totally different produce handlers, shippers, etc. Why is Rocky Ford being indicted? Does this mean that if there were farms in Denver that were suspect, that the Denver region would include Colorado Springs, Limon, Cheyenne, Silverthorn and the Colo. State Line?
Sure, the problem arises because the melons are labeled "Rocky Ford."

But we all know that we all laud the Rocky Ford fruits; we're all so happy for the limited time that we actually do have "Colorado grown" produce. We celebrate the great produce that Colorado has - differentiating when a single grower/producer has contamination, a problem, whatever clearly is a problem, when the region markets itself well.

You can argue that because it's in Holly, it's far removed form what you think of as Rocky Ford, but face it, people are concerned and frightened.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: The 719
10,965 posts, read 19,101,497 times
Reputation: 11822
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I have plenty of cantalopes from my garden. For sale, only $100.00 each.
Them grapes are sure looking mighty good then. Keep your melons thankyouverymuch.

Good job with the timely info, LaJunta Econ Devel.

Mikefrombackeast, Double H, ^ there's my nomination for a Southern Colorado moderator if we ever get one.

In a related note, my wife is very good at picking a good cantalope. She has a method that usually helps her pick one that's fresh, sweet, etc. She says that she scrubs the outside of the melon before she cuts into it. In fact, she learned from cooking shows that anytime you prepare something that comes from the ground like that, where you have to cut from the skin and down into the plant (fruit or vegatable), you should scrub/clean the outside first.

How she selects a good one, take note of its weight in relation to size, and she smells the stem end and if it smells like cantalope, she buys it. If it has no smell or smells over-ripe, she'll buy something else.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:26 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 12,182,915 times
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We must emphasis that all agricultural products and livestock products are, by nature, can be contaminated with pathogens. I think it is poor policy to continue to recall food products and at the same time fail to educate the consumer of the proper handling of food.

Cantaloupe and Melons are grown in an environment where listeria bacteria is very common. It is really impossible to completely eliminate the total risk. We must strictly enforce rules in food service establishments that these products must be fully washed and brush scrubbed before they are cut. I have seen too many times food service workers just rinsing melons under water and many times not even doing that useless washing. The work surface and utensil also must be cleaned.

The same approach must be emphasised strongly for home consumers. I wash my cantaloupe in warm dish soap water and scrub them with a brush. It is nonsense when the FDA does not want to recommend this procedure because they are concerned about the health hazards of liquid dish soap. Well, if that is the case, they should announce not washing any dishes, pots or glasses with the soap, as I sure some residue remains. It appears that over many generations that the risk of these soaps are much less than the risk of deadly pathogenic infections.

Appropriate cautions should be enforced for other food products and especially meat. Ground meat products should also be cooked fully. There is no way that one can fully ascertain that a dead ground animal can be free of pathogens. Heat is the weapon that should always be used. We should, again, strongly, educated the consumer at home.

Mass recalls of products may be necessary but doing that without enforcement of food handling and education to the consumer is just continue a wasteful and costly system.

I have bought Rocky Ford Cantaloupe and I will continue to buy them but I practice what I preach and clean the products. It is a shame that an industry and jobs are being threatened with these constant recalls when we can minimize the problems with proper enforcement and education.

In addition, I strongly support radiation of products that cannot be effectively cleaned for consumption and are at high risk of contamination. It is ridiculous to hear all these scare tactics from people who do not and cannot understand.

Livecontent
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