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Farmers Arrested Following Deadly 2011 Listeria Outbreak

EMSL Analytical provides food testing services to identify Listeria and other microbial pathogens to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.


Cinnaminson, NJ, October 21, 2013

Last month, NBC News published a report that the two brothers who own a cantaloupe farm in Colorado that was implicated in a 2011 Listeria outbreak had been arrested on misdemeanor charges. The charges were related to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The contaminated cantaloupe was consumed in 28 states and was one of the deadliest outbreaks of a foodborne illness in the last quarter century. 

In addition to the cantaloupe outbreak that was widely reported, Listeria has been associated with foods such as raw milk, cheeses, ice cream, raw vegetables, fermented raw-meat sausages, raw and cooked poultry, raw meats, and raw and smoked fish.

Listeria is commonly found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacteria without appearing ill and can contaminate foods and food processing facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking; however, in some ready-to-eat foods, such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after factory cooking but before packaging. Unlike most bacteria, Listeria can grow and multiply in some foods in the refrigerator.” The CDC states that about 1,600 people in the US get sick from Listeria each year and that it is the 3rd leading cause of death from food poisoning.

One of the major food testing laboratories in North America that helps farmers, food manufacturers, retailers, regulators and the general public test for Listeria and other food pathogens is EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The vast majority of people who get Listeria infections are pregnant women and their newborns, people 65 or older, or people with weakened immune systems,” reported Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Director at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we provide testing services to rapidly and accurately identify Listeria and a wide range of other foodborne pathogens from food products and processing plants to help prevent these types of tragic outbreaks.”

EMSL has sponsored a video about Listeria that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for Listeria and other food testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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