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Eight Dead After Listeria Outbreak Linked Cantaloupes
The company responsible, Jensen Farms, say it's not sure how the outbreak started and has hired an independent food safety expert to determine the cause. Because listeria has a an incubation period of up to a month, listeria bacteria can grow at room temperature and refrigerator temperatures. The Food and Drug Administration recommends throwing out any potentially tainted cantaloupes.
Listeria outbreaks typically happen several times per year, but are more often linked to deli meats and cheeses. Most healthy adults can consume listeria with no negative effects, but elderly people and pregnant women are especially likely to become ill from it. The median age of those sickened in this outbreak is 78.
Listeria symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and other gastrointestinal problems.
If you have purchased any cantaloupe in the past few weeks, check the labels. The recalled cantaloupe may be labeled “Colorado Grown,” “Distributed by Frontera Produce,” “Jensenfarms.com,” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” Be especially careful of produce consumption during this recall, because not all of the listeria-tainted cantaloupes are labeled.