Federal and state officials have isolated a deadly outbreak of listeria… (Ed Andrieski / Associated…)
At least 13 people in eight states have died in a recent listeria outbreak linked to whole cantaloupes, health officials have announced.
Since July 31, a reported 72 people in 18 states have been infected in an oubreak involving four strains of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thus far, Colorado has the highest reported number of cases (15), and New Mexico has the biggest share of deaths (4).
Jensen Farms recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes Sept. 14 after the melons grown at its fields in Granada, Colo., were linked to the multistate listeriosis outbreak, the CDC said.
Listeriosis, as reporter Eryn Brown explained earlier, is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Among its symptoms, the illness causes gastrointestinal problems and fever -- and in severe cases can lead to confusion and convulsion. It typically affects pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
To reduce risk of contracting the disease, the CDC recommends cooking raw meat to a "safe internal temperature," rinsing raw vegetables under tap water thoroughly before eating and washing hands, knives, countertops and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods.
For more information, visit the CDC's listeriosis page.
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