Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak

A recent outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe has sickened 84 people and killed 15 so far, making it the deadliest outbreak of the past decade.


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A recent outbreak of the deadly bacteria listeria in cantaloupe has sickened dozens of people and killed 15 others in the past few weeks. The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for more than 300,000 cases—or up to 4.5 million melons—of the potentially infected fruit, which originated from Jensen Farms in Colorado. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg expects illness rates to continue rising in the coming weeks because it can often take weeks, or even months, for listeria bacteria to incubate. On September 29, California lettuce producer True Leaf Farms also recalled 30,000 pounds of chopped romaine lettuce due to suspected listeria contamination. Although lesser known than E. coli and salmonella, the deadly bacteria is considered very dangerous, especially for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.

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