Numerous farmers and produce distributors are under fire from consumers and health investigators for failing to meet safety criteria for the food they are growing and selling. Serious illnesses and even deaths have been traced to various products due to the bacterium listeria. The bacteria were found in cantaloupe that killed over 30 people between August 2011 and December 2011.
Cantaloupe Leads to Listeriosis
Local ABC news affiliate KMBC reported on the death of a 92-year-old Missouri man, Paul Schwarz. His family believes that cantaloupe contaminated with listeria was responsible for his death. Schwarz allegedly ate the affected cantaloupe in September 2011 and fell ill shortly thereafter. After spending over a month in the hospital, he was cleared to enter a nursing home. He passed away in December, three months after eating the cantaloupe.
An Albuquerque ABC news station, KOAT, reported a similar poisoning in New Mexico, where a wife grieves her lost husband. Sixty-three-year-old Rene Gaxiola died after eating contaminated cantaloupe. Mrs. Gaxiola reported that her husband ate the fruit on September 7, 2011 and made a trip to the hospital with a fever of over 105 degrees a few hours later. Mr. Gaxiola reported diarrhea, cramps and chills. As his condition worsened, he became disoriented and unable to communicate. On September 10, 2011, he succumbed to the bacterium. According to tests administered in the hospital, listeria was the cause.
After a thorough investigation, government health officials determined that more than 146 individual cases of listeriosis were reported in connection with the cantaloupe. While many people did recover from exposure to the bacterium, 30 people died. As a food-borne bacterium, listeria is most dangerous to the elderly and those with already compromised immune systems. Anyone who is already ill simply does not have the strength of immunity needed to fight off the bacterium. Southern Colorado’s Jensen Farms and Frontera Produce are facing wrongful death lawsuits from the affected families.
Listeria Found in Cheese
According to Reuter’s news service, at least two individuals in Michigan have been affected by listeria found in cheese. Produced by Green Cedar Dairy in Dearborn, cheese with the labels All Natural Chives Cheese and All Natural Ackawai Cheese with sell-by dates prior to July 1, 2012 have been recalled as a safety precaution. The Michigan Department of Agriculture found that at least one package of All Natural Chives Cheese had been contaminated with listeria.
Michigan consumers residing in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties should check their products to ensure they have not purchased one of the potentially harmful cheeses. Packages may be returned to the stores where purchased for refunds.
If you or someone you love has been affected by a listeria outbreak or any other type of food-borne illness as the result of poor manufacturing or distributing, contact our office. Our experienced attorneys will do all they can to ensure that you are fully compensated for damages, including medical bills resulting from illness or treatment, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. The time to file a claim or join a class-action lawsuit is limited, so act now.