The first hints of trouble came last Sept. 2. Trackers who watch for outbreaks of dangerous diseases noticed that seven people in Colorado had come down with listeriosis, a potentially fatal food-borne illness. Within two weeks, federal authorities had tracked the culprit — contaminated cantaloupe — to Jensen Farms, a small Colorado grower.
By November, people in 28 states had fallen ill. By the time federal authorities declared the outbreak over in December, 146 people had been stricken, including a woman who had a miscarriage, and 30 were dead.
You'd think that the deadliest food-borne outbreak in nearly 90 years would change the way business is done in the produce industry. No such luck.