Cantaloupe contamination: “Deadliest food outbreak in a decade”

When you are strolling though the supermarket and looking at your food options for the week, it isn’t natural to look at food items as potential health hazards. But reports of a serious listeria contamination among cantaloupe in the U.S. makes the public think twice about trusting the food that’s out there.

According to reports, cantaloupe that came out of a Colorado farm, some of which was shipped to Pennsylvania for distribution, was contaminated with listeria bacteria. If consumed, it can cause a person to suffer from the disease listeriosis, which can be deadly. The recalled product has reportedly been taken off of the shelves, but fear still lingers.

A representative from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that the illness and death tolls related to the contaminated melons could grow in coming weeks. As of Wednesday this week, 13 people died as a result of the recalled product and more than 70 people had become sick. But those who have consumed cantaloupe from the bad batch might not be in the clear, yet. The CDC says that listeria can be consumed and then not lead to listeriosis symptoms until several weeks later.

Consumers cannot be too careful when it comes to protecting their and their families’ health. The contaminated fruit has reportedly been taken off of the shelves, but if a consumer has any doubt at all about the cantaloupe they’ve bought, it might be safe to avoid it. In some past incidents of contaminated products and recalls, victims or families of victims found reason to file product liability lawsuits because they believed that the dangers could have easily been prevented through stricter or more vigilantly upheld safety standards.


The Philadelphia Inquirer: “13 deaths linked to cantaloupe bacterium,” Mary Clare Jalonick, Sep. 28, 2011

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