More cantaloupe has been recalled due to possible listeria contamination. A western New York distributer decided to pull thousands of cases of melon because they were was supplied by the same Colorado farm that is connected to a deadly multistate outbreak of the disease.
Fruit Fresh Up Inc. of Depew, N.Y., says the 4,800 recalled packages, sold between Aug, 31 and Sept. 11, were labeled Cantaloupe Chunks, Cantaloupe Slices, Gourmet Fruit Salad, Small Fruit Salad, Small and Large Fruit Salad with Pineapple, Fruit Salad with Kiwi, and Fruit Trays.
The company says no illnesses have been linked to these products thus far, but customers should destroy or return any fruit they still have.
Meanwhile, a woman’s death in Wyoming is being linked to contaminated cantaloupes provided by Jensen Farms in Colorado. Her death means at least 19 people have died as the result of the nationwide listeria outbreak.
This week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 100 cases of listeria in 20 states. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, a woman from the northwest part of the state suffered a miscarriage due to a listeria infection, bringing the total to 21 states affected by the outbreak.
Jensen Farms issued a large recall for all the cantaloupes it shipped from July 27 to Sept. 10. The cantaloupes linked to the outbreak are sold under the Rocky Ford label. Jensen Farms cultivates approximately 40 percent of the Rocky Ford-brand melons. Known for their sweet taste, the cantaloupes have been grown in Colorado’s Arkansas River Valley since the late 1800’s.
The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state health departments are all conducting independent investigations into the outbreak. So far, there is no determination as to how the cantaloupes became contaminated with the listeria bacteria. The congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation is also considering an investigation and public hearing.
Fever, muscle aches, stiffness, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea are the typical symptoms associated with listeria. The symptoms usually last about a week and go away. However, the infection can spread to the brain and cause headaches, confusion, balance issues and seizures. Children and older people are particularly at risk.
The majority of people who contract listeria have eaten listeria contaminated foods. Because the bacteria are often found in soil and water, vegetables can easily become contaminated, either from animal waste or fertilizer.