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People still getting listeria from Colorado cantaloupes

More listeria reports from Colorado cantaloupe

Three reported cases of Listeriosis, a deadly diseased which is caused by eating food contaminated by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, were reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment over the summer.

In the U.S., an estimated 1,850 people become infected with Listeriosis each year. It is one of the more uncommon diseases but can be fatal. People with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for catching Listeria, including pregnant women, the elderly and young children. Pregnant women are roughly 20 times more likely to catch Listeria than other members of the population, and about one third of all cases reported are in pregnant women. A pregnant woman getting Listeriosis can result in spontaneous abortion during the second and third trimesters or stillbirth.

Symptoms of Listeriosis include fever, muscle aches and, sometimes, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. Sometimes the infection can spread to the nervous system, and if it does, the infected person will likely experience headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions.

The FDA trusted the recall plan would work. If you have a cantaloupe from a certain grower, don’t eat it. Seems simple enough. But people were still eating it, and the total deaths as of today has reached 23

"It is important for people to follow the standard (federal) guidelines" on listeria, Alicia Cronquist, a state epidemiologist, said in a statement. "People who are at high risk for Listeria infection can decrease their risk by avoiding soft cheeses such as queso fresco and brie unless they are made with pasteurized milk, hot dogs and deli meats unless reheated to an internal temperature of 165 F, refrigerated pâté or meat spreads, or refrigerated smoked seafood."

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The current listeria outbreak is the deadliest in food-borne illnesses since 1998. It has reached several states, including Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Those who are at the highest risk, according to officials, are the elderly, babies and pregnant women. You should also be careful if you have a weakened immune system.

Officials said all contaminated cantaloupes should already be removed from the shelf. Jensen Farms of Colorado is the grower who harvests the cantaloupes.

Officials urge those who have Jensen Farms cantaloupes to dispose of them immediately. Even refrigerating them will not help because It’s not cold enough to kill the bacteria. Officials say you’re putting your life at risk if you eat a Jensen Farms cantaloupe, so saving it would not be the best thing to do. Dispose of it quickly if you do have the tainted cantaloupes in your house.

Related: How to protect against Listeria infection

Image credit: Morguefile



This is turning me against fruit! Now I hear lettuce is contaminated. I'm growing my own food next year.