All News / Case News /

House Panel Requests Jensen Farms Outbreak Briefing

Food Safety News

Helena Bottemiller

October 24, 2011

Congress is taking a closer look at the catastrophic 26-state Listeria outbreak tied to tainted cantaloupes. The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter Friday to Jensen Farms, the Colorado farm linked to the deadliest outbreak in 25 years, requesting a staff briefing.

"The Committee has a long bipartisan history of conducting food safety oversight and is very concerned about these recent developments," wrote committee leaders. "We intend to learn more from the FDA, CDC, Jensen Farms, and others who may provide insight into the causes of this outbreak and the prevention of future outbreaks."

The letter comes on the heels of FDA's recent report on the outbreak that outlined multiple food safety lapses at Jensen Farms. The agency also issued a warning letter to the company after 13 of 39 environmental samples tested positive for Listeria with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern combinations indistinguishable from three of four strains collected from outbreak patients.

The committee asked that co-owners Ryan and Eric Jensen make arrangements with staff to schedule a briefing, no later than Nov. 3, and preserve all documents "that may be relevant to understanding the reasons for the contamination and distribution of contaminated products."

Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and ranking member Diane DeGette (D-CO) signed the letter.

Get Help

Affected by an outbreak or recall?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

Get a free consultation
Related Resources
Listeria Food Poisoning

What is Listeria and how does it cause food poisoning? Listeria is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is ubiquitous and can grow under either anaerobic (without oxygen) or aerobic (with...

The Incidence of Listeria Infections

How common are Listeria infections? Listeria bacteria are found widely in the environment in soil, including in decaying vegetation and water, and may be part of the fecal flora of...

The Prevalence of Listeria in Food and the Environment

Listeria bacteria are common in nature. Listeria monocytogenes is omnipresent in nature; it is found widely in such places as water, soil, infected animals, human and animal feces, raw and...

Transmission of and Infection with Listeria

Listeria typically spreads to people through contaminated food or water, but can also be transmitted from mother to fetus. Except for the transmission of mother to fetus, human-to-human transmission of...

Who is Most at Risk of Becoming Ill with Listeria?

The elderly, pregnant women, and anyone immunocompromised is most at risk for contracting Listeria. Several segments of the population are at increased risk and need to be informed so that...

Outbreak Database

Looking for a comprehensive list of outbreaks?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

View Outbreak Database