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Colorado Cantaloupes Killed 13 People, More Deaths Expected

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by IRChicken, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. IRChicken

    IRChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Sept. 28--With 13 confirmed fatalities so far, a series of listeria illnesses linked to recalled Colorado cantaloupes has become one of the deadliest food-related outbreaks in decades.

    Before the toll is finished, it might be surpassed since the early 1970s only by the more than 50 deaths from a 1985 listeria outbreak in California related to a Mexican-style soft cheese.

    Although the recall of Jensen Farms-raised Rocky Ford melons was announced Sept. 14, concern continues for several reasons.

    Listeria is more lethal than salmonella or E. coli, two better-known food-poisoning agents. Contaminated fruit is dangerous even with proper refrigeration. Also, symptoms -- including diarrhea, fever and muscle aches -- can be slow to appear.

    "That long incubation period is a real problem," said Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control. "People who ate a contaminated food two weeks ago or even a week ago could still be falling sick weeks later."

    So just because someone seems fine a day after trying a sample doesn't prove it's safe.

    No cases had been reported in Pennsylvania or New Jersey as of Tuesday, but they were among the 26 states were the Jensen Farms melons were distributed, according to the FDA.

    Consumers should look for a label saying "Colorado Grown," "Distributed by Frontera Produce," "Jensenfarms.com" or "Sweet Rocky Fords," according to the FDA. If there's no label, ask the store that sold it, the CDC suggests.

    Anyone with such a recalled melon should discard it and sanitize any surfaces it contacted.

    Confirmed were deaths in Maryland, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Additional fatalities were being investigated in New Mexico, Kansas and Wyoming.

    Cantaloupe warnings continue as death toll rises - GoPhilly


    As of 11am EDT on September 26, 2011, a total of 72 persons infected with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 18 states. All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. 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.

    Collaborative investigations by local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate the source of the outbreak is whole cantaloupe grown at Jensen FarmsÂ’ production fields in Granada, Colorado.

    http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/index.html
     
  2. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Wow i had sort of heard about this but had yet to read or know what was really going on ! I never knew fruit could carry a food bourne illness!?!?!?!
     
  3. mamagardener

    mamagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    i was wondering the same thing, in all the coverage they have never once said what caused the outbreak just that it was found in these cantaloupes. I didn't know it could happen, is it in the fruit or just on the skin?
     
  4. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Melons are particularly dangerous because most people do not wash melons before they cut them. They also grow on the ground, where they can be exposed to contaminated soil. When they are cut, stuff from the surface is forced onto the flesh. They are also eaten raw, so there is no heat to kill any pathogens. Cantaloupes rough surface also provide a nice environment, especially compared to a watermelon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  5. mamagardener

    mamagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    so it is on the skin, and not in the cantaloupe? I always wash my fruits, but unfortunately most restaurants don't. I think it should be mandated by law that fruits and vegetables need to be washed before being served in a restaurant.
     

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