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Cantaloupe listeria outbreak worst in a decade

17-Oct-2011
Last updated on 17-Oct-2011 at 17:09 GMT

The total number of reported cantaloupe related listeria deaths has risen, making the foodborne outbreak the worst in the US in the last decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a further six deaths in connection with listeria infected Jensen Farms Rocky Ford brand cantaloupes – taking the total to 23.

An additional 116 people across 25 states have become infected as a result of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes.

The number of deaths linked to listeria infected cantaloupes makes this foodborne outbreak the worst since 1998, and the third worst since US food contamination records began.

Jensen Farms issued a voluntary recall of its Rocky Ford brand cantaloupes on September 14 after whole cantaloupes from the farms were linked to the outbreak.

The CDC has warned that more cases may still be reported, as listeriosis can develop up to two months after eating contaminated food.

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