From the CDC
An outbreak of listeriosis has claimed at least 13 lives, and several more are under investigation.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is collaborating with public health officials in several states, including Texas, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of listeriosis.
As of Tuesday, a total of 72 persons infected with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported to CDC from 18 states. That number is 14 in Texas – and two have died.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes .
All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. On September 14, 2011, the FDA issued announced that Jensen Farms had issued a voluntary recall of its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes after being linked to a multistate outbreak of listeriosis.
The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (15), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (10), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (8), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).
Thirteen deaths have been reported: 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas. Several other deaths are being investigated by officials as well, according to a report by the Associate Press today.
The CDC recommends that persons at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.
Even if some of the cantaloupe has been eaten without anyone becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures.
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