Earlier this week KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico reported its fourth death that was confirmed to be part of the multistate outbreak of listeriosis that has now claimed 4 other lives and sickened at least 55 persons from 14 states (these numbers are expected to increase), according to the CDC. New Mexico now leads the country in the number of listeriosis deaths related to this outbreak. The New Mexico Department of Health reported that the latest victim was a 96 year-old woman from Lea County who died after eating contaminated cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford area in Colorado.

Since mid-August, New Mexico has had 10 cases of listeriosis linked to the outbreak associated with the consumption of cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado. All 10 individuals were hospitalized. Victims’ ages range from 43 to 96 years, and include 6 women and 4 men. Patients are from seven different New Mexico counties.

In a recent press release from the Marler Clark law firm concerning the outbreak of listeriosis, food safety attorney Bill Marler urged that “Jensen Farms, and other food companies have a public responsibility to all consumers to sell and distribute food that is free and clear of dangerous adulterants such as Listeria – no exceptions.” Marler Clark Listeria lawyers have currently filed two separate lawsuits on behalf of Colorado residents victimized in this outbreak, and one on behalf of a Texas woman who was hospitalized after eating contaminated cantaloupe.

Listeria claims another life in NM: krqe.com

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Photo of Claire Mitchell Claire Mitchell

Claire received her J.D. degree from Hofstra University School of Law with a concentration in Energy and the Environment in May 2010. She received her B.A., majoring in English, from Villanova University, magna cum laude. During law school, Claire served as Articles Editor for the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, was elected President of the Legal Emergency Aid Project and elected Treasurer of Hofstra Law Women. She is currently pursuing an LL.M. degree in Food and Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. In August 2010, Claire was selected as the recipient of the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship, part of a new public/private partnership that will allow the University of Arkansas School of Law to partner with leaders in the food and agricultural legal communities. Although she began the LL.M. Program in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Claire is now living in Seattle in order to devote more time to her work at Marler Clark and is completing her LL.M. degree through distance learning. In addition to her academic and professional commitments, Claire blogs on Food Poison Journal and has been published in the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Update and the American Agricultural Law Association’s Update.