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Listeria-Contaminated Cantaloupe Illness Increases

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Washington, DCThe number of people who have become ill from consuming Listeria contaminated cantaloupes has risen to 123, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports, with the death toll so far at 25.

People in 26 states have been affected by listeriosis in what is being called the deadliest outbreak of food borne related illness in the US in a quarter of a century.

The CDC is also reporting that the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) investigation into the exact cause of contamination of Rocky Ford cantaloupes is Jensen Farms – where the recalled cantaloupes originated. The FDA reportedly states that it is possible that the Listeria monocytogenes originated at the farm, in the fields where the cantaloupes are grown, or that a truck used to take the fruit to a cattle operation could have been contaminated by the pathogen.

On September 14, 2011, Jensen Farms recalled its Rocky Ford cantaloupe. The CDC recommends that people continue to avoid eating Rocky Ford brand melons, and expects that reports of illness will continue.

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