Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak: More Deaths Likely
And it's already the deadliest food-borne illness outbreak in years
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 29, 2011 3:07 PM CDT
Cantaloupes rot in the afternoon heat on a field on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo., on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – The cantaloupe-borne listeria outbreak has now spread to 18 states, and it’ll probably get worse before it gets better, health officials tell the LA Times. While the official death toll is still at 13, that’s expected to rise as more testing is done on suspected listeria victims, and as more fall ill from already devoured melons—illness can strike up to two months after a tainted melon is eaten.

“This is the deadliest outbreak of a food-borne disease that we've identified in more than a decade,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden said. “We do anticipate there will be a rising number of cases in the days and weeks to come.” Officials still aren’t sure how the cantaloupes were infected, according to USA Today, but they know it’s isolated to ones grown in Holly, Colorado. “If it’s not Jensen Farms, it’s OK to eat,” says Frieden. “But if you’re in doubt, throw it out.”

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Sep 29, 2011 8:23 PM CDT
that won't happen to me, I hate cantaloupe.
Sep 29, 2011 3:59 PM CDT
I noticed that my local supermarket had a huge pile of cantaloupes going unsold, looking sad and a little past prime. There was a sign saying these melons are from California, not part of the recall. Never the less no one was even going near the pile to check them out. It's the outside that is infected, so just touching the infected ones could give you listeria. And yes, the good old tea party wants to dismantle the FDA completely. Wouldn't that be interesting?
Sep 29, 2011 3:39 PM CDT
I've got the solution. Let's deregulate and/or funding for the FDA! Problem solved.