DENVER — A Colorado cantaloupe grower whose farm was identified by federal authorities as the source of a listeria outbreak that killed 30 people last year was fined by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday for failing to provide safe migrant worker housing.
The federal agency said Eric Jensen, owner of Jensen Farms, of Holly, rented migrant workers unsanitary, overcrowded rooms at a motel he owns. Inspectors said many rooms lacked beds, laundry facilities and smoke detectors. Jensen faces $4,250 in civil penalties.
The fine was not linked to the outbreak.
"Profiting at the expense of vulnerable workers is not just inhumane, it's illegal," said Chad Frasier, the Wage and Hour Division's district director in Denver.