If you have a cantaloupe at home, the listeria is found on the outside of the "skin". You get it when you cut the melon - it spreads on the knife to the inside. Washing the outside of the melon with alcohol will kill the listeria. You can find that information on the web but sadly not on the news where they would do well to be a bit more responsible with their reporting and include some help for consumers, that goes beyond their scare tactics, don't you think?
If you recall, earlier this year it was spinach, then lettuce. It's always something. And yet what do "they" tell us? Very little. They blame it on the "insufficient" washing in the pre-shipping packaging. It's either e.coli, salmonella or listeria. We never had these outbreaks prior to the 1970's. Anyone wonder why?
I'm not alone in the theory that our contaminants in the produce fields are the direct result of run off from CAFO's (Concentrated Aminal Feeding Operations) nearby. The CAFO's are notorious for polluting rivers and streams. If you haven't seen videos on these CAFO operations, you should. It may be enough right there to give up meat entirely or at least go organic.
I do remember reading AFTER the spinach fiasco that further investigations actually did blame the contamination on a nearby industrial-sized animal farm. Heavy rains in the area months before helped to spread the poo (so to speak) downhill into the spinach fields. Hence, my theory that this cantaloupe thing will eventually (if they LOOK) be tied in to the same thing.
One reason they don't make a bigger deal out of this pollution is that they don't want you to be too aware of CAFO's in the first place. Meat comes from the grocery - never mind how it got there! Just eat it! The conditions in CAFO's are deplorable, disease is rampant, bacteria thrive there despite all the antibiotics given to the poor sick animals because they can become resistant to it, or morph into a new strain - the possibilities for contamination are endless.
Here's a dandy fact I found:
"The more than 295,000 beef cattle on industrial feedlots in Weld County, Colorado produce as much untreated manure as the sewage from the New York City and Chicago metro areas combined."
This is just the cattle. There are hog farms (they aren't really farms) and chickens "farms" as well. That's a LOT of poop. These animals also receive humongous doses of anti-biotics and hormones which can cause anti-biotic resistant strains of viruses we can end up with and doctors cannot always treat!
Here's what Ronnie Cummings of the Organic Consumers Assn. has to say:
"Greenwashing CAFO products as "natural" or "local" is a major source of profits for Wal-Mart, Cargill, Conagra, Perdue, Land O' Lakes, Kraft, McDonalds, KFC, Monsanto and chemical/GMO farmers and ranchers.
… These animal factories, where GMO feed and drugs are force-fed to most of the nation's livestock and poultry, are not only poisoning consumers, but are also generating massive amounts of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases, especially methane, which is 72 times more destructive per ton than CO2. Methane (CH4) pollution is responsible for approximately 14% of human-induced global warming.
… Millions of consumers are still in the dark about how "conventional" foods - especially the cheaper brands of animal products, processed, fast, and fake foods - are produced."
Here's what I found on listeria:
Listeria can be found in soil, which can lead to vegetable contamination. Animals can also be carriers. Listeria has been found in uncooked meats, uncooked vegetables, fruit such as cantaloupes, unpasteurized milk, foods made from unpasteurized milk, and processed foods. Pasteurization and sufficient cooking kill Listeria; however, contamination may occur after cooking and before packaging. For example, meat-processing plants producing ready-to-eat foods, such as hot dogs and deli meats, must follow extensive sanitation policies and procedures to prevent Listeria contamination. Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food. Listeria are responsible for listeriosis, a rare but potentially lethal food-borne infection. The case fatality rate for those with a severe form of infection may approach 25%. (Salmonella, in comparison, has a mortality rate estimated at less than 1%). Although Listeria monocytogenes has low infectivity, it is hardy and can grow in temperatures from 4 °C (39.2 °F) (the temperature of a refrigerator), to 37 °C (98.6 °F), (the body's internal temperature). Listeriosis is a serious illness, and the disease may manifest as meningitis, or affect newborns due to its ability to penetrate the endothelial layer of the placenta.
I think we aren't supposed to know about these CAFO's and their polluting everything. We are just expected to go to the grocery store, stock up on meat - especially when it's on sale - and eat this as if there is no tomorrow..............only there IS a tomorrow.
Have you cut back on your meat consumption? Here's a brief intro film on CAFO's - I know this seems off topic but I feel everything is connected - sadly. Not to mention, if you don't know where your meat is coming from, you need to know!