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On the heels of a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to tainted cantaloupe, authorities are assuring the public that cantaloupe grown in places other than Jensen Farms is safe. However, if there is any doubt, tossing the fruit is the safest option.

The outbreak, first reported on September 12, has grown to 72 cases in 18 states. 13 people have died, according to the CPSC. The number of cases is expected to rise as it can take one to three weeks for symptoms to show.

The tainted cantaloupes were grown at Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado, and shipped to several states including New York. For a complete list, refer to the FDA Web site.

An estimated 76 million people suffer from foodborne illness in the United States each year, according to the CPSC.

Safety and Prevention of Tainted Cantaloupe

First and foremost make a habit of washing your hands! As well as every other item that comes into contact with the tainted food such as knives, cutting boards etc.

Immediately discard any food that was recalled and possibly contaminated. Do not try to wash the bacteria from the fruit, it can seep inside.

Use bleach to wipe down the inside of and door handle on your refrigerator.

The FDA has dedicated a page titled, “Consumer Safety Information on the Recalled Whole Cantaloupes by Jensen Farms,” to keep consumers up-to-date, please refer there for the most recent information.

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