Federal health officials report that as many as 16 people have died after eating cantaloupe produced in Colorado, according to KETV Omaha. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attribute 13 confirmed deaths and 72 illnesses to the tainted cantaloupe, which is contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Officials continue to investigate three other deaths that may be related to cantaloupe consumption.
The deaths, which have been confirmed in Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Maryland, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, make this the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in more than 10 years. Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, a serious infection that often affects those with weak immune systems. Pregnant women, elderly adults, newborns and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk. The bacteria are found in water and soil, which makes it possible for cantaloupe and other produce items to become contaminated. Read the rest »