According to news sources, as many as 16 people have died from the Listeria contamination that was traced to cantaloupes from Colorado.
This outbreak is the deadliest food-borne illness in decades. Seventy-two people have been sickened from the cantaloupes. Thirteen have been confirmed as dead from consuming the fruit, and three other deaths may be linked as well.
The Center for Disease Control confirmed two deaths in Texas, two in Colorado, four in New Mexico, and one death each in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Maryland.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that typically only affects young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems, but the infection can product life-threatening illness. The CDC has reported that the median age of those who died from this outbreak is 78.
Symptoms of Listeria can take up to four weeks to show up, so more illnesses and deaths may occur.
Illnesses were also reported in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The outbreak has been traced to tainted cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado. The product is called Rocky Ford-brand and they were shipped from July 29 through September 10. It may be labeled “Colorado Grown,” “Distributed by Frontera Produce,” “Jensenfarms.com” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” However, not all are labeled, so you may want to check with store management if you are considering purchasing a cantaloupe.
If you’ve purchased one of these products, you should throw it out and sanitize any surfaces the fruit has touched.
As a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, I know that there are many rules and regulations that most food and product manufacturers must abide by. Even so, mistakes can be made. The product liability lawyer at our law firm hopes that you or your loved ones will not be affected by Listeriosis. If you or anyone you know has been affected by contaminated food we encourage them to seek medical attention right away.