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Colorado Cantaloupe Farmers Fear Outbreak Fallout

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Cantaloupe (credit: CBS)

Cantaloupe (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s cantaloupe farmers say they fear it will take time for people to feel safe eating Rocky Ford melons because of the deadly listeria outbreak linked to one farm.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that melons at Jensen Farms in Holly were likely contaminated in a packing house that was using secondhand equipment.

In Rocky Ford, farmer Eric Hanagan fears cantaloupe sales will drop next year, and he plans to plant about 50 percent less.

But he says he isn’t angry at Jensen Farms, and he notes that buying used equipment from other farms is common practice.

State Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar says his department will work to reassure consumers about Colorado cantaloupe and to develop best practices for farmers for packing.

LINK: Listeria Outbreak Resources

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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