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Beware of the Killer Cantaloupes

Check out Bas Rutten's Liver Shot on MMA Surge: This is no joke. Thirteen people have died from consuming bacteria-tainted cantaloupe in what has become the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness since 1998, according to records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak -- blamed on the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes -- was first reported September 12, when the CDC said 15 people in four states had been infected. The illnesses were traced to consumption of Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' fields in Granada, Colorado. In the current outbreak, four people who ate contaminated cantaloupes died in New Mexico, two each in Colorado and Texas, and one each in Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Listeriosis causes fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. It is rarely a serious concern for healthy children and adults, according to the CDC, but it is particularly dangerous for older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. The cantaloupes bear a green-and-white sticker that reads: Product of USA-Frontera Produce-Colorado Fresh-Rocky Ford-Cantaloupe or a gray, yellow, and green sticker that says: Jensen Farms-Sweet Rocky Fords. Four families affected by the outbreak have filed lawsuits, said attorney Bill Marler, who is representing them, and a fifth will be filed this week in Maryland. On September 14, Jensen Farms voluntarily recalled Rocky Ford whole cantaloupes shipped between July 29 and September 10. The cantaloupes were distributed in 17 states -- Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. If you feel ill within two months of eating contaminated cantaloupe, see a physician immediately and make sure to tell your doctor about what you've eaten. Because listeria has such a long incubation period, experts at the CDC and FDA expect that more people will become ill, some seriously so, in the coming weeks.,0,573316.story
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