DENVER - The owners of a Colorado cantaloupe farm were arrested yesterday on charges stemming from a 2011 listeria epidemic that killed 33 people.
DENVER ó The owners of a Colorado cantaloupe farm were arrested yesterday on charges stemming from a 2011 listeria epidemic that killed 33 people.
Federal prosecutors said brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen were arrested on misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Each man faces six counts. They pleaded not guilty in federal court and were released on unsecured bonds. Trial is scheduled for Dec. 2.
Prosecutors said the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that the Jensens didnít adequately clean the cantaloupe.
The FDA has said the melons likely were contaminated in Jensen Farmsí packing house. It concluded that dirty water on a floor, and old, hard-to-clean equipment probably were to blame.
Eric Jensen, 37, and Ryan Jensen, 33, could face up to six years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines each if convicted of all counts against them, prosecutors said.
The Jensensí farm in southeastern Colorado filed for bankruptcy after the outbreak.