September 28th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Tainted cantaloupes linked to 13 deaths, public health agency says

Thirteen people have now died from consuming bacteria-tainted cantaloupe in what has become the deadliest outbreak of a food-borne illness since 1998, according to records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outbreak - blamed on the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes - was first reported September 12, when the CDC said 15 people in four states had been infected. The illnesses were traced to consumption of Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' fields in Granada, Colorado.

As of Monday morning, the latest statistics available, it had grown to 18 states, 72 illnesses and 13 deaths, according to the CDC.

In 1998, 21 people died from consuming tainted hot dogs, according to a CDC database.

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Filed under: Health • U.S.
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. raven

    See ? I toldja it was wrong to mess with someones canteloupes out of wedlock!bad things happen.people get hurt .

    September 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IDoggiebag

    Thank you for your article on horror of the Cantaloupe recall...We are trying to help with @NipperAlert please check out the most recent PSA which will start airing on Fox Sports Networks this month. http://youtu.be/eDwFx6Gwr6I
    We just want to get Gov't cooperation not money....cause we think an "All Clear" is important once a product is safe to eat again....we don't need any more economic troubles. Thank you

    September 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SDTangler

    How is this not a bigger story?! If terrorists had killed 13 people, we'd have a new government agency.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cheetah

    Tainted antelopes? Oh no.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    @raven LMAO @ bobcat I will huf and puff and blow it down from michigam

    September 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u.

      Yeah, I really miss Mich. this time of year. Colors started changing yet ?

      September 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AmericaIsBasedOnCheating

    Listeria is from FECES... someone is crapping on cantaloupes.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Probably more a case of not washing hands before returning to work. How can you say "crapping" but not "s k y s c r a p e r" ? I'm so confused. I thought it was "c r a p" that got blocked, but maybe it's "r a p e".

      September 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KirstinM

    Incorrect nomenclature....way to go, CNN editor!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Janet Demeter

    I am absolutely furious that CNN, my favorite news group, is now feuling the FDAs propaganda by including raw milk in the discussion about today's listeria story on cantaloupes. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SMALL FARMERS AND RAW MILK! Raw milk accounts for an incredibly small percentage of any pathogens; in fact, all raw milk dairies(in California anyway!) uphold the highest possible standards for quality, in the quality of life, health, and happiness for the animals as well as clean milking and bottling techniques. The dairy I buy from has had no pathogens since 1927.

    Why am I so upset? The FDA has a very public agenda to ban raw milk, one of the healthiest and nutrient dense foods on the planet, that humans have consumed for thousands of years. Why? The FDA is beholden FIRST to large, multinational agricultural/chemical corporations that do not have our best interests at heart. The listeria outbreak is the result of large agricultural franchises producing enormous amounts of produce with less than ideal quality control. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REAL MILK and small farmers who deserve to continue providing real food to their communities.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim Campbell

    Growers should be required to place a sign on their frontage attesting to their having used microbacterial wash. Simple enough?

    May 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jamarm Erkerl

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    July 30, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
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