Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Listeria Outbreak Could Be ‘Deadliest In A Decade’

A listeria outbreak tied to Colorado cantaloupe has 13 confirmed deaths and 72 illnesses, but those numbers could rise.

Cantaloupe

Photo: News21-usa (flickr)

Listeria can be spread from the outside of the fruit to the flesh by a knife blade.

The listeria outbreak linked to Colorado cantaloupes has claimed 13 lives and sickened 72 others, causing it to be called the “deadliest in a decade.”

Although there have been 13 confirmed deaths, as many as 16 people may have died, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated.

Listeria has a long incubation period — it could take symptoms a month or longer to appear — and can be spread from the knives used to cut fruit.

The death toll could rise as contaminated melons could still be in people’s homes, and could become the second deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food-based illness.

The outbreak was tied to Jensen Farm’s Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, shipped between July 29 through Sept. 10, 2011. If the melon in question is in the home, the CDC advises to throw it out and sanitize any surface it touched.

Read More:

  • Cantaloupe outbreak is deadliest in a decade (AP)
  • Listeria Outbreak Tied To Colorado Cantaloupes; 13 Known Dead (NPR)
  • Current listeria outbreak could become second-worst for deaths (Denver Post)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media