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First Cantaloupe Listeria Illness Reported in Pennsylvania

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Harrisburg, PAThe first illness from Listeria contaminated cantaloupe in the state of Pennsylvania is being reported this week, with state health officials confirming that an elderly suburban woman in Montgomery County became ill after eating an infected cantaloupe. She was hospitalized in early September but has since recovered, according to media reports.

So far, federal health officials say the Listeria outbreak, which has been sourced to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado, has caused 116 cases of illness and 23 deaths nationwide. It is being reported as the deadliest outbreak of food borne illness in the US in 25 years.

On September 14, 2011, Jensen Farms announced a cantaloupe recall brought about by concern of listeria cantaloupe contamination. The Rocky Ford cantaloupe were shipped by Jensen Farms between July 29, 2011 and September 10, 2011.

Listeriosis is a rare and serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever and muscle aches. Although listeriosis is not necessarily fatal, it can be life-threatening to people with compromised immune systems, people with certain chronic medical conditions, newborns, and elderly people. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriage, stillbirth or serious illness when a contaminated product is ingested by a pregnant woman.

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