Health officials have issued a warning for cantaloupes from a revered melon-producing area of Colorado amid a bacteria outbreak blamed for four deaths in the state and New Mexico, troubling farmers who depend on sales of the fruit. The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after 15 cases of a strain of Listeria were reported from four states, including 11 from Colorado, two from Texas, and one each from Nebraska and Oklahoma. Suspected cases were being investigated in other states.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. The CDC warning advised people with cantaloupes at home to see if they came from the Rocky Ford region, and if so, not to eat the melons if they're in a vulnerable group. Health authorities asked people throwing out Rocky Ford cantaloupes to put them in a sealed plastic bag before putting them in the trash.
Source: CDC, msnbc