BLUU food untainted by listeria outbreak

Students who eat at the Brown-Lupton University Union are not at risk from the tainted cantaloupes that are sickening people around the nation, Michael Dahl, director of Operations for TCU food services company Sodexo, said.

Cantaloupe containing the bacteria listeria have been traced to Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo.. But none of the melons purchased by the university came from that area.

The melons served in Market Square are bought from farms in California, Dahl said.

“They deal from a couple of farms, so on any given day we could have a couple of different farmers send [fruit] from California,” he said. Other produce available through TCU Dining Services came from different areas of the country, but Dahl said that none of the food would have come into contact with the tainted Colorado melons.

“All fruit is sourced in different areas depending on what time of year it is- you chase the crop,” he said. “But we do not get anything from Colorado.”

Likewise, the Health Center has not seen evidence of foodborne illnesses on campus.

No students have been diagnosed with either listeriosis or food poisoning, Kelle Tillman, director of Nursing and Clinical Services said.

Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting, and can appear from three to 70 days after exposure to infected food, according to a news release from Tarrant County Health Department’s website.

There have been up to 16 deaths linked to the infected melons. Two cases of listeriosis linked to the Colorado cantaloupes have been reported in Tarrant County since the cantaloupes were recalled earlier this month.

An elderly Tarrant County resident diagnosed with the disease died, and a middle-aged resident recovered and was released from the hospital, said Vanessa Joseph, Senior Public Information Officer for the Tarrant County Health Department.

“Listeriosis is not uncommon,” Joseph said. “Last year, for instance, we had less than five [cases]. This year to date, we have had four cases, two of which are related to the multi-state outbreak.”

Neither of the cases were in the TCU area, she said.

TCU Dining Services works hard to ensure that they are up to date on all health and safety regulations, Dahl said. Sodexo is Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points certified, a food and personnel safety program.  All managers and supervisors are also ServSafe certified to safely handle food.

“We are also audited by a third party company, the National Sanitation Foundation, which is above and beyond what your local health agency will require,” Dahl said.