Listeria Outbreak 2011: CDC Issues Multistate Warning due to Rocky Ford Cantaloupes

By on Sep 14, 2011 in Announcement, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Science, United States Comments

Listeria monocytogenes culture
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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a multistate warning, as Listeria outbreak patients have remembered that the cantaloupes they ate came from Rocky Ford, Colorado. This was disclosed by CDC and by various news sites, September 13, 2011.

Listeriosis is a foodborne illness that results from eating foods contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pains, fever and in severe conditions, meningitis, a life threatening condition.

The Listeria bacterium does not commonly affect people but susceptible individuals can succumb to Listeriosis like infants, old people, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised.

On September 9, due to the results of a series of investigations, CDC has issued a warning:

CDC now advises persons throughout the mainland United States and at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, to not eat cantaloupes marketed as coming from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado.”

Reportedly, 11 of the 13 Listeriosis cases in Colorado are linked to a multistate Listeria outbreak. CDC is coordinating with FDA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to identify the specific source of the cantaloupes and to contain the outbreak.

On September 12, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a news release with Dr. Chris Urbina, its chief medical officer and executive director, stating this advisory:

“People at high risk for Listeria infection should not eat cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region. The department expects additional test results later this week that may help identify the specific source of the cantaloupe linked to the multistate outbreak.”

CDC has also issued safety procedures to observe like: washing hands before food preparation, washing melons or cantaloupes before eating, drying the fruit well before cutting, preserving them under refrigerated temperatures and throwing non-preserved melons.

CDC, in its website, has disclosed the results of all studies related to Listeria, to contain this 2011 Listeria outbreak. The cantaloupe recall  in Rocky Ford stores, like in Walmart in Clovis, New Mexico, would hopefully also contain the spread of Listeria.

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