Recalled cantaloupes sent to Dallas County

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 17 at 6:35 PM

DALLAS -- Some of the recalled cantaloupes suspected in a deadly listeria outbreak were sent to Dallas County. The county health department received the warning Friday afternoon.

"We really have to get the message out that these cantaloupes from Jensen Farms should not be consumed," said Zachary Thompson, Dallas County's Human and Health Services Director. 

The health department did not know which North Texas stores got the Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms, but News 8 has learned Walmart stores across the state received the product.

The company told us it pulled the cantaloupes from Jensen Farms on Monday, and re-stocked the aisles with produce from other states. Customers who still have the product at home can return it to the store for a refund.

Kroger, Albertsons and Tom Thumb told News 8 that they did not receive the recalled cantaloupes.

Since Monday, the recalled cantaloupe has been linked to at least two deaths and nearly two dozen illnesses nationwide. One person in North Texas was hospitalized.

The fruit has been recalled in 17 states. Symptoms of Listeria infection include fever, head and muscle aches, upset stomach and diarrhea.

Officials say one in four cases are deadly.

"Our concern is those high risk groups, the elderly, the immune compromised and pregnant females," said Thompson.

Some of the contaminated cantaloupe from Jensen Farms have a sticker with the Frontera Produce - Colorado Rocky Ford or Sweet Rocky Fords name on it. Frontera Produce is based out of Edinburg, Texas.

According to a statement from Frontera Produce, the whole cantaloupes were shipped between July 29 and Sept. 10. 

"We have provided FDA and state officials with our trace-back information, and we are working with FDA and state health officials to determine where along the supply chain the Listeria contamination may have occurred," said Frontera Produce President Will Steele.

Health experts suggest customers who purchased the recalled fruit to throw it out, even if it's in the refrigerator, because the bacteria can still grow.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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