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Colorado farmers arrested, plead not guilty in listeria outbreak

The cantaloupe farm was the source of a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people.

Brothers Ryan and Eric Jensen, owners and operators of a cantaloupe farm in southeast Colorado, were arrested yesterday and pled not guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. They pleaded not guilty and were released pending trial, scheduled for December 2. The charges stem from a 2011 Listeria outbreak traced back to the farm that killed 33 people,

The farmers stand accused of not adequately cleaning the canteloupe. FDA blamed the contamination on dirty water on a floor and old, difficult to clean equipment in the operation's packing house. Ryan and Eric Jensen could each face up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted of all counts.

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