A U.S. House of Representatives committee has requested documents from the Colorado cantaloupe shipper implicated in the deadly listeria outbreak even as the number of deaths rose to 28, and it wants to hear from the company’s owners.
On Oct. 21, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a bipartisan letter to Granada, Colo.-based Jensen Farms to request all documents and communications relevant to the investigation of the outbreak, which has killed 28 people and sickened 133 in 26 states.
The letter also asks that company owners Ryan Jensen and Eric Jensen schedule a briefing with the committee.
“The committee has a long bipartisan history of conducting food safety oversight and is very concerned about these recent developments,” the letter says. “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.”
According to an Oct. 25 update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 133 people in 26 states have been sickened in the outbreak. The contaminated cantaloupes were shipped by Granada, Colo.-based Jensen Farms.
It’s the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S. in more than a decade..
Food and Drug Administration investigators found listeria on cantaloupes at a Colorado retailer and on cantaloupes and equipment at Jensen Farms, Granada, Colo. The recalled cantaloupes were shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10.
The letter was signed by committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif.. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., subcommittee ranking member Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and chairmen emeritus Joe Barton, R-Texas, and John Dingell, D-Mich.