Farmers tied to listeria outbreak plead guilty

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DENVER (AP) Two Colorado farmers whose cantaloupes were tied to a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges under a deal with federal prosecutors.

Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Denver to six counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Jan. 28. The deal didn't address the brothers' possible punishment.

Officials say people in 28 states ate the contaminated fruit and 147 were hospitalized.

A statement from the Jensens' attorneys says the brothers were shocked and saddened by the deaths, but the guilty pleas do not imply any intentional wrongdoing or knowledge that the cantaloupes were contaminated.

The brothers have sued the safety auditor who gave their farm a superior rating just before the outbreak.


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