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Feb 23, 2012 6:07 AM by Kate Richards

Listeria outbreak sparks food safety forum

DENVER (AP) - The governor's forum on Colorado agriculture plans to feature discussions on food safety and how to reduce outbreaks.

This year, the annual event comes after a listeria outbreak was traced to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak has killed at least 30 people around the country. The CDC calls it the worst foodborne illness since 1920s.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is scheduled to attend the agriculture forum Thursday morning. A legislative update and several breakout sessions will follow.

The sessions will include how agriculture is tied to matters of national security, addressing the listeria outbreak and dealing with third-party farm audits. Jensen Farms was given a "superior" inspection rating by a third-party auditor just before the outbreak.

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