Farm behind cantaloupe listeria outbreak may face criminal charges

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Jensen Farms

DENVER — The Colorado cantaloupe processor behind the deadly 2011 listeria outbreak may face criminal charges, according to a report.

Citing a lawyer for victims, the Bloomberg News is reporting that the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating the outbreak, which killed at least 30 and sickened another 146. It was the deadliest outbreak in the U.S. in almost 90 years.

After its own investigation, Congress found the cases of listeria could have been avoided if Jensen Farms had followed U.S. food-safety guidelines.

Bill Marler, who represents 42 victims of the outbreak, including families of nearly 20 who died, spoke with the Bloomberg News Monday.

“The investigators were here three weeks ago and we turned over all the files on death cases to them,” Marler said. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Jensen Farms, which is located in Holly, has filed for bankruptcy following the outbreak and settlement talks are under way in lawsuits involving victims, Marler said.