Listeria in Cantaloupe Outbreak Worst Since 1924

November 4, 2011

New numbers from the CDC reveal that the listeria outbreak tied to cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado has now killed 29 people, making it the third deadliest food-related illness in the nation's history.  It is  now the worst outbreak since 1924. 

Victims ranged in age from 48 to 96 with the median age of 81. Nearly 140 people have fallen ill and the deaths have taken place in Colorado, 8; Indiana, 1; Kansas, 3; Louisiana, 2; Maryland, 1; Missouri, 2; Nebraska, 1; New York, 2; New Mexico, 5; Oklahoma, 1; Texas, 2; and Wyoming, 1. 

Melons under the recall are no longer available on supermarket shelves. The first illnesses were reported on July 31, but listeria can take several months to manifest itself in the human body. In 1924, typhoid in New York City oysters killed 150 people and sickened more than 1,500.