As of November 2011, there have been 29 confirmed deaths linked to listeria-infected, Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado, creating the “deadliest listeria outbreak in U.S. history,” according to WebMD.
Listeriosis, the medical condition caused by the listeria bacteria, can range from mild to severe illness, and often matures into meningitis or encephalitis in people with weakened immune systems. This puts the elderly, pregnant women, and newborns at a higher risk of infection.
Listeria-related symptoms sometimes can take up to two months to appear.
The contaminated fruit shipped between July 29, 2011 and September 10, 2011 to the following states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina