Infected cantaloupes have killed 18 in US

Eighteen people have died and 100 people have fallen ill since late July in the United States from eating cantaloupes infected with listeria, health authorities said Tuesday.

Illnesses have been reported in 20 states due to the cantaloupes which came from the Colorado-based Jensen Farms, the said in its latest update.

The prior death toll, announced last week, was 15.

Authorities have warned that the number of cases was certain to rise even though a recall has been issued, because it can take up to two months for symptoms to appear.

The cases mark the United States' worst foodborne disease outbreak in more than a decade.

However, investigators are still trying to figure out how the whole melons became contaminated, in what has been described as the first known outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes.

Listeriosis is particularly dangerous to the elderly, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women because it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

While only cantaloupes from Jensen Farms have been implicated, and none have been shipped outside the United States, the CDC has urged consumers to throw away a melon if they are not sure of its origin.

"Even if some of the has been eaten without becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures," the CDC said.

can cause diarrhea, fever and muscle aches, and other flu-like symptoms. In most people, the bacteria spreads from the intestine to the , but it can be treated with antibiotics.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Colorado farm says Listeria found in cantaloupe

Sep 15, 2011

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat cantaloupes from a southeastern Colorado farm after investigators found a contaminated melon in a store, the first time Listeria has been linked to cantaloupe ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

2 hours ago

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2011
Why is it that Americans can't seem to keep dung out of their meat, poison out of their water, and intestinal parasites out of their vegetables?

Perhaps it is because in America industry inspects it's own products.

Another failure of American Capitalism.