The fruit included in the recall was sold between August 31 and September 11 at a variety of stores and includes precut cantaloupe, which is believed to be contaminated. So far, no injuries have been linked to the fruit salad, although the number of injuries and illnesses linked to the recalled cantaloupe is expected to grow.
As of October 7, at least 21 deaths, 109 illnesses and one miscarriage have been linked to cantaloupe contaminated with listeria. Because listeria can take more than a month to cause illness—and in some cases up to two months—that number is expected to increase, although all affected fruit should now be off store shelves. Among those most susceptible to listeria illness are people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and elderly people.
READ MORE CANTALOUPE RECALL LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have reportedly been filed against the companies linked to the listeriosis outbreak, alleging that some consumers died or became severely ill after eating contaminated cantaloupe.
The cantaloupe involved in the listeria outbreak was linked to Jensen Farms and Rocky Ford Cantaloupes in Colorado. On September 14, 2011, Jensen Farms issued a voluntary recall of the contaminated cantaloupe, affecting more than 300,000 cases of cantaloupe, after they were linked to an outbreak of listeriosis.
Listeria can survive at low temperatures, meaning that refrigeration will not kill it. It is also easily transmitted, so fridges that contained the contaminated fruit should be washed thoroughly.