Jensen Farms files bankruptcy in wake of cantaloupe listeria deaths

Kids, kids, the rock melons are back in Brisbane.

I bought three small and juicy cantaloupes Friday for $2, or $0.68 each at the fruit and veg shop. An older woman was stocking up, and said to me, “$0.68, how can you go wrong?”

I didn’t want to spoil her appetite and get into the whole-listeria-or-salmonella in cantaloupe thing. But things can go wrong.

The Denver Post reports that Jensen Farms, the southeastern Colorado cantaloupe growers who were the source of a deadly listeria outbreak last year, filed for bankruptcy Friday.

Lawsuits from the outbreak, which caused at least 32 deaths, dozens of hospitalizations and 146 illnesses, are prominent in the filings.

Jensen’s bankruptcy attorney, Jim Markus, said the filing should free up millions of dollars in insurance and other funds.

"We’re hopeful the bankruptcy process is a mechanism to help get them paid, as quickly as we can distribute it to victims," Markus said.