Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Check Store-bought Cantalopes carefully!

Deaths From Cantaloupe Listeria Rise

At least 13 people in eight states have died after eating cantaloupe contaminated with listeria, in the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in the United States in more than a decade, public health officials said on Tuesday. 

The cantaloupes were grown by a Colorado company, Jensen Farms, which issued a recall earlier this month. The melons, a type marketed as Rocky Ford cantaloupes, named after a region in Colorado, were sold around the country. 

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that since the outbreak began in late July at least 72 people had fallen ill in 18 states. 


1 comment:

  1. "Rocky Ford" is a strain of melon that were named after the area they were developed. Not all Rocky Ford melons are tainted.. just the ones from the Jensen Farm.

    However they seem to have trouble with the lovely distribution system to figure out where they all went. Irony abounds.

    Some seem to think washing off the produce washes away the bacteria.. it doesn't. If the fruit is infected, it goes into the fruit as well, it does not just stay on the skin. This strain keeps on growing even when temperatures reach close to freezing. Heat is the only means to kill it.

    As well, it transfers easily from surface to surface by contact.

    The strain from the Jensen Farm is one of the more troublesome Listeria, but still common. Most don't have much of an issue with it unless they have compromised immune systems (pregnant women, elderly, the very young, diabetics, cancer patients, etc.)

    Listeria is why they push pasteurization of dairy, why they want meats to be cooked to a certain temperature.. why pregnant women are supposed to avoid quite a few soft cheeses (it can pass to the fetus).

    Many are not effected by it.. also why those who grew up drinking raw milk don't seem to have trouble with it, but someone else who hasn't had the same exposure can get very sick.


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