18 dead from tainted canteloupe
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18 dead from tainted canteloupe

Tuesday, October 11, 2011By Richard Alexander
A total of 100 people have been infected with Listeria from bacteria-laden cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado, while an additional 18 people have died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest update.

All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011, in what the CDC is calling the deadliest outbreak of a foodborne illness in the United States for more than a decade.

The 18 deaths were reported from the following states: 5 in Colorado, 2 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.

The outbreak has also sickened people from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause food poisoning, and the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are the most likely to be sickened by the bacteria.

Jensen Farms recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes on Sept. 14, but had previously shipped the cantaloupes from July 29 through Sept. 10 to at least 17 states, with possible further distribution.

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