Tainted Cantaloupes a Concern in Area

Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia are among 14 states that have reported illnesses from an outbreak of listeria traced back to Colorado-grown cantaloupes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a person in Maryland died from eating the tainted produce. While an exact location of the Maryland victim has not been released, the state Department of Health classified it as "central Maryland."

That raises the death toll to eight across the country, with 55 people sick.

Jensen Farms recalled the Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes shipped from July 29 to September 10 to 17 different states, but not Virginia, Maryland or West Virginia.

The recalled cantaloupe may be labeled "Colorado Grown," "Distributed by Frontera Produce," "Jensenfarms.com" or "Sweet Rocky Fords."

Jensen Farms released a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn that cantaloupes grown on our farm have been linked to the current listeria outbreak. Our hearts go out to those individuals and their families who have been affected by this terrible situation.''

The company has hired an independent food safety expert to help determine the cause of the problem and how to address it.

Listeria is a bacteria normally traced back to deli meat and soft cheeses.

Most healthy adults can consume listeria with no problems, but it can be dangerous to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

For more information on the outbreak from the CDC, click here.

For more info from the FDA, click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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