Cantaloupe Outbreak from Listeria One of Deadliest on Record
The death toll linked to recalled cantaloupes from Jensen Farms has risen to 18, federal health officials report, making it one of the deadliest food poisoning outbreaks on record.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a multistate cantaloupe listeria outbreak report on October 4, indicating that there apprear to be four strains of listeria linked to the contaminated fruit, which was the subject of a cantaloupe recall last month.
At least 100 illnesses have been attributed to the cantaloupe outbreak, as well as 18 deaths. Almost all of those who suffered listeria food poisoning required hospital treatment and most victims have been elderly.
Did You Know?
Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled
Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.Learn More
The Jensen Farms cantaloupe recall was issued on September 14, and subsequent inspections have found listeria strains associated with the illnesses on machinery and cantaloupes at Jensen Farms’ packing facility.The recall was expanded on September 23 to include 594 pounds of Carol’s Cuts fresh cut cantaloupe.
At least five cantaloupe listeria lawsuits have been filed as a result of the outbreak and more are expected.
Even though all of the listeria-infected cantaloupe has either been consumed or gone bad by now, the CDC warns that the number of illnesses associated with the outbreak are likely to continue to rise, because the organism, Listeria monocytogenes, can live in the gut for up to two months before the carrier develops listeria.
The current death toll makes it the deadliest food poisoning outbreak in the United States since 1998, when 21 people died during a listeria outbreak linked to hot dogs and deli meats from Bil Mar Foods, which is owned by Sara Lee Corp. It has claimed twice the number of lives as the 2008-2009 peanut salmonella food poisoning outbreak linked to Peanut Corp. of America, even though at least 700 people fell ill from the tainted peanuts and peanut-products.
The high number of deaths and hospitalizations are due to the virulence of listeria. Although less frequent and less well known than salmonella and E. coli, listeria can be far more deadly.
Listeria infections pose a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births.
Blood tests are usually required to diagnose listeriosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of listeriosis include muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe headaches and fever. If the bacteria spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and nervous system, it could cause meningitis and other complications.
The cantaloupe food poisoning outbreak has led to some concern among consumers across the country, many of whom do not know whether cantaloupe is safe to eat. The CDC tried to allay those fears by noting that none of the Jensen Farms Rocky Ford cantaloupes linked to the illnesses are currently on store shelves and has likely rotted. Barring another unknown case of contamination, all other brands of cantaloupe should be safe to eat, according to federal health regulators.
ClairJuly 28, 2012 at 8:23 am
I was grocery shioppng yesterday and i had the velveta instant cups on the scanner thing and when she rang them up it set an alarm off and she simply said oh sorry you cant buy these she had no idea why. So in typical me manner i followed with a big fat EXCUSE me??? i am the mother of 3 and a very busy husbands wife opening a business I DRIVE A MINI VAN damn it give me those 3 minute meals i[Show More]I was grocery shioppng yesterday and i had the velveta instant cups on the scanner thing and when she rang them up it set an alarm off and she simply said oh sorry you cant buy these she had no idea why. So in typical me manner i followed with a big fat EXCUSE me??? i am the mother of 3 and a very busy husbands wife opening a business I DRIVE A MINI VAN damn it give me those 3 minute meals in a cup you bitch. She wouldnt. I had to google it on my phone right there before i would pay just to end my tirade. I did not tell her what my search engine found, i simply paid and gave her my tude. Pull it together grocery store get my hopes and dreams off the damn shelf if i cannot purchase them.Ps can i get in on these emails captain america?? Wtf.
PattiOctober 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm
I have been treated for listeria on October 3, 1022 Went to ER very sick Stiff neck, hedache, muscle ache ,nausia, gut ache., lethargic Atter 6 hour of iv antibiotics and saline to hydrate me went home. I was very ill. I am still ill symptoms are a bit different today. So tired. I am 60 yrs old I have copd so I do suppose that could weaken my immune sylstem. Ayway it is terrible. Like the flue but[Show More]I have been treated for listeria on October 3, 1022 Went to ER very sick Stiff neck, hedache, muscle ache ,nausia, gut ache., lethargic Atter 6 hour of iv antibiotics and saline to hydrate me went home. I was very ill. I am still ill symptoms are a bit different today. So tired. I am 60 yrs old I have copd so I do suppose that could weaken my immune sylstem. Ayway it is terrible. Like the flue but way worse. It is like I sit up and can not wait to lie down.
MonicaOctober 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm
DO NOT EAT CANTELOUPE!!!
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.
More than 775 Exactech lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts as parties work toward a plan for bellwether early test trials.
A federal judge has announced he will soon begin remanding 3M earplug lawsuits back to their originating districts for trials over claims of veteran hearing loss.