At sentencing, cantaloupe growers apologize for deadly listeria outbreak


Story highlights

Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food

A 2011 listeriosis outbreak killed roughly three dozen people

The brothers apologize in court to the victims' families

CNN —  

A pair of Colorado farmers were sentenced Tuesday to five years’ probation, including six months of in-home detention, for their role in a 2011 listeriosis outbreak that killed roughly three dozen Americans who consumed infected cantaloupe, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen, who grew up cultivating cantaloupes on Jensen Farms, a fixture in the dry plains of southeastern Colorado since the early 1900s, also were sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution in connection with the deadliest food outbreak in the United States in nearly 100 years.

Each apologized in court to the victims’ families.

“My most sincere apologies and deepest regrets. I hope the victims’ meeting helped,” Ryan Jensen said, according to CNN affiliate KMGH. “I do know that much has been gained in food safety understanding both here and outside the country because of this.”