Colorado Farmers Avoid Prison Time After Listeria Outbreak

Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty to unintentionally causing outbreak that killed 33

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Two brothers whose Colorado farm was blamed for a cantaloupe listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and hospitalized 147 will not serve jail time.

Eric and Ryan Jensen were sentenced Tuesday to five years’ probation and six months under house arrest. Both brothers were ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. They were facing up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.

The brothers pleaded guilty in October to introducing adulterated food into the U.S. food market after their farm was determined to be the source of contaminated cantaloupes. According to NBC News, the brothers were willing to plead guilty because the contamination happened “on their watch,” but they had not intentionally committed a crime. The brothers helped with the investigation, and met with families of the victims.

The brothers did not use chlorine spray to wash their cantaloupes, which put the produce at a greater risk for being contaminated with bacteria.

[NBC]

3 comments
davidemervis
davidemervis

The issue may not be the Jensen's themselves but Factory Farming in general.  If the objective of the food system is to provide us with nutritious and healthy food, then we need to question whether this can be accomplished via industrial agriculture. If we have to use massive amounts of antibiotics and antiseptic solutions in order to prevent disease outbreaks, then it seems obvious that the system can't work on this scale.

So why not just buy local from farmers in the community that are truly committed to providing food on a scale that IS sustainable?

Why not skew our tax dollars towards small farmers rather than industrial agriculture that is failing to meet our needs(health)?

awenshok
awenshok

Well, since only 33 people died and 147 were put in the hospital, I'm surprised that the judge is not being petitioned by every Wall street banksters' attorney. 

Is this the same judge that did the 'affluenza ruling?  Hey, these guys deliberately failed to use normal, expected hygene and KILLED people....every Talibanger/AlQ in the WORLD is laughing at this stupidity -- what a message has been sent.....

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

@awenshok There 147 potential wrongful death cases. Those are civil and only require a preponderance of the evidence. I would not want to be the insurance company of these fools.