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Killer Cantaloupes: 8 Deaths Attributed to Contaminated Melons

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Photo by Layland Masuda via Shutterstock
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An outbreak of illness caused by listeria found in one Colorado company's cantaloupe has now killed eight people, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). So far, no deaths have occurred in California, though as of yesterday's CDC update, one person has been sickened in our state.

A total of 55 illnesses associated with the contaminated fruit have been reported in 14 different states.

One distributor, Colorado's Jensen Farms, has been linked to the outbreak. They recently issued a voluntary recall of all their Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, shipped between July 29 and September 10 to at least 17 states. All of the illnesses were reported after August 4th, says the CDC.

The FDA urges consumers who have cantaloupes affected by the recall to just toss the fruit, rather than try to wash them off then eat them, since the contamination be inside the melon as well.

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Listeriosis is a rare, but sometimes fatal, infection. Pregnant women, people over the age of 60, and consumers with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to infection. The CDC has more information about listeriosis.