September 19, Associated Press
Cantaloupe deaths: Several dead from eating tainted cantaloupe linked
Four people have died in an outbreak of listeria traced to Colorado
cantaloupes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
said September 19. One death occurred in Colorado, one in Oklahoma,
and two in New Mexico. The death count could soon rise to six. A
spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Heath said the CDC is in
the process of confirming two additional deaths linked to the outbreak
in his state.
The CDC said 35 people in 10 states have been sickened in the
outbreak so far. The illnesses are in California, Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and
Colorado has the most illnesses with 12 sickened, followed by
Oklahoma with six, and New Mexico with five. The illnesses have been
traced to fruit from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado.
The Food and Drug Administration said September 19 it had found
listeria in samples of Jensen Farms' cantaloupe taken from a
Denver-area store, and on samples taken from equipment and cantaloupe
at the farm's packing facility. Tests confirmed the samples matched
the strain of the disease found in those sickened. Jensen Farms
recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes the week of September 12
after the illnesses were linked to its fruit.