The Center for Disease Control and Prevention traced the listeria outbreak to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado, after finding Listeria monocytogenes in a sample from there. The CDC reports that since July 31, 72 people in 18 states have been infected in the outbreak, involving four strains of Listeria monocytogenes. 13 people have died; including 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma and 2 in Texas. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.
Jensen Farms issued a recall on their Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupe on September 14. The contaminated fruit was shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to 25 states.
According to Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC, the number of cases will grow in the coming weeks because it can take four weeks or more for symptoms of listeria to show up. Consuming food contaminated with listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease in young children, pregnant women, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.