100 confirmed sick, 18 dead from listeria in cantaloupes; why and how it happened remains unconfirmed

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed that 100 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 20 states, including 18 deaths.

Is food local when it’s distributed to 20 U.S. states?

The cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado near the Kansas border likes to bill itself as local and pesticide-free, but I’d rather buy listeria-free cantaloupe from almost anywhere. Geographical knowledge is no substitute for microbiological safety.

U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said Tuesday that the agency is still investigating the cause of the outbreak. Officials have said they are looking at the farm’s water supply and possible animal intrusions among other things in trying to figure out how the cantaloupes became contaminated.

What retailers bought these melons? Who did the food safety audits for those retailers that concluded thumbs up for these melons?