CDC: Death toll from contaminated cantaloupe rises to 15
Jensen Farms in Colorado has recalled Rocky Ford whole cantaloupes that were shipped between July 29 and September 10.
September 30th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

CDC: Death toll from contaminated cantaloupe rises to 15

Two more people have been killed by consuming cantaloupe contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, raising the outbreak's death toll to 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The two additions to the death toll include one person in New Mexico and one in Colorado, according to the CDC. The totals are now five in New Mexico, three in Colorado,  one in Kansas, one in Maryland, one in Missouri, one in Nebraska, one in Oklahoma, and two in Texas.

Eighty-four illnesses in 19 states have been reported, the CDC said.

The outbreak was first reported September 12. It was traced to consumption of Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' fields in Granada, Colorado. The farm has recalled Rocky Ford whole cantaloupes that were shipped between July 29 and September 10.

What you need to know about Listeria monocytogenes

The CDC says that the Jensen Farms cantaloupes are the only cantaloupes linked to the outbreak.

Separately, a  California lettuce grower has recalled 2,498 cartons of chopped or shredded romaine lettuce shipped to wholesale food service distributors after a random sample detected Listeria monocytogenes in one bag. No illnesses have been linked to the lettuce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

This is the deadliest outbreak of a food-borne illness since 1998, when 21 people died from consuming tainted hot dogs, according to CDC records.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Health
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u.

    People look at the sticker that's usually on the fruit. If it says Colorado, DON'T EAT IT

    September 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      lol yea colorado isn't exactly a lush place. i could trust the fruit there, not sure i could trust the taste.

      September 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Colorado is much more lush and fertile than you might think. Olathe sweet corn and Palisade peaches from the Western Slope, and the cantaloupe from Rocky Ford are some of the best I've ever had. Obviously the product tastes great if the outbreak is all over the county – how do you think people in 19 states got the illness if it wasn't being shipped all over? And do you think it woiuld be shipped all over if Colorado's produce was terrible?Also, Rocky Ford refers to a whole region of growth – the outbreak is from one farm only.

      September 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bogus

    Could this be Al Qaeda?

    September 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nick-a-deem-us

    Death by fruit? Shall we place this on the tombstone? Did folks used to die from eatting fruit in the good ol' days, but was impossible to diagnos, or are the modern growing practices really gotten outta hand? Seems like I am always hearing about a recall of this product , maybe on week it is meat, next week its a veggie, etc. , etc. What happened to our wonderful FDA dept. ? Have they laid-off all the good employees??

    September 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Walker

    this is what happens when you feed your cantaloupe's cow brains

    September 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    Obviously playing off the "Contagion" movie in theaters. Probably fake news as usual.

    September 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bishop Ben Ugbine

    People have to be very cautious about the things they buy and consume. Withdrawing the contamineted products is certainly good news.

    September 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mangi

    So... yesterday all the "News" sources reported "Listeria has killed 16 people, with the disease having been traced to Colorado cantaloupes" Note 16 people. Today CNN reports "Death toll from contaminated cantaloupe rises to 15" I know they are just numbers, but can we get some accurate reporting here?

    September 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. shonoffilm

    it was probably caused by that chick in the photo. Look at how gross her hands are, yuck!

    September 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Contagion real-time.

    September 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Snacklefish

    Can't wait for the movie version of this story, directed by Michael Bay.

    September 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Colorado Kid

    Lots of sh!t comes out of Colorado....

    September 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AdamG417

    cantalopes do not believe in monogamy. that must have something to do with it.

    September 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CDC: death toll from contaminated humans...

    ...is 40,000 per month. And that's just humans contaminated with AIDS. eating contaminated fruit is much safer than contaminated humans, who become more contaminated each year. Some are even fruity.

    September 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AT

    Been happening since the beginning of time, Nick! Humans aren't the only ones that like food!
    --------–

    Nick-a-deem-us

    Death by fruit? Shall we place this on the tombstone? Did folks used to die from eatting fruit in the good ol' days, but was impossible to diagnos, or are the modern growing practices really gotten outta hand? Seems like I am always hearing about a recall of this product , maybe on week it is meat, next week its a veggie, etc. , etc. What happened to our wonderful FDA dept. ? Have they laid-off all the good employees??

    September 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. buddget

    How long dose cantalope stay fresh? This story is weeks old and people are still eating them?

    September 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
1 2