view current print edition




Colorado issues warning about possible Listeria-tainted cantaloupe

by Joan Murphy | September 12, 2011

Colorado health authorities on Sept. 9 warned people at-risk of listeriosis to avoid eating cantaloupe as preliminary test results link cantaloupe as the likely cause of a Listeria outbreak.

Federal and state health officials are investigating a Listeria outbreak that involves nine confirmed cases in Colorado -- one of which that has proved fatal -- and two yet-to-be-confirmed cases in Texas and Nebraska, said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

All the ill people who ended up hospitalized reported consuming cantaloupe, the department said. Listeria has not been associated with cantaloupes in the past, and Colorado officials have yet to identify the source of the cantaloupes.

“While the investigation into the source of the Listeria outbreak is continuing, it is prudent for people who are at high risk for Listeria infection to avoid consumption of cantaloupe,” Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and executive director of the CDPHE, said in a Sept. 9 statement.

People at high risk for listeriosis include persons over age 60, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.

This report comes just weeks after Del Monte Fresh Produce sued FDA for wrongly blaming its cantaloupes for a Salmonella outbreak and forcing the company to recall its cantaloupes and list its major supplier on an import alert.