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Colo. farmers arrested in fatal listeria outbreak

September 27, 2013 • National News


Ryan Jensen, 33, front, and brother Eric Jensen, 37, leave the federal courthouse in Denver on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, after a hearing on federal charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The brothers owned and operated Jensen Farms in southeast Colorado. They pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a 2011 listeria epidemic that killed 33 people. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

DENVER (AP) — The owners of a Colorado cantaloupe farm were arrested Thursday on charges stemming from a 2011 listeria epidemic that killed 33 people in one of the nation’s deadliest outbreaks of foodborne illness.

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 the Jensens didn’t adequately clean the cantaloupe.

Criminal charges in food poisoning cases are rare, said attorney William Marler, who represents many of the listeria victims in civil cases Login to read more

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