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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

15 Cantaloupe Listeria deaths in Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas – Total, 84 Ill to Date

Today the CDC reported that a total of 84 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 19 states.  All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1) California (1), Colorado (17), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (13), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (11), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (2).   Fifteen deaths have been reported: 3 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.

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With the help of Efoodalert, here is a consolidated “State of the States” listing, which summarizes the outbreak status and the recall information for each state.

  • Alabama:- One case.
  • Alaska:- No cases. None of the cantaloupes were shipped to Alaska.
  • Arizona:- No outbreak cases. One cases of Listeria that is unrelated to the outbreak.
  • Arkansas:- One case.
  • California:- One confirmed case. According to the California Department of Public Health, none of the recalled cantaloupes were distributed in California (FDA’s news releases include California in the distribution list).
  • Colorado:- Seventeen (17) confirmed cases; 3 deaths.
  • Connecticut:- No cases.
  • Delaware:- No cases.
  • Florida:- One case.
  • Georgia:- No cases.
  • Hawaii:- No cases. No recalled cantaloupes were shipped to Hawaii.
  • Idaho:- One case under investigation – a Jerome County woman in her 60s, who became ill in early September and was hospitalized but has recovered.
  • Illinois:- One confirmed case (female in her 80s from Cook County). No additional cases under investigation.
  • Indiana:- Two cases.
  • Iowa:- No cases.
  • Kansas:- Five (5) confirmed cases, including one death. Three more cases (including a second death) are still under investigation.
  • Kentucky:- No outbreak cases. Three unrelated cases in the state this year.
  • Louisiana:- No cases.
  • Maine:- No cases.
  • Maryland:- One apparently related case (patient died at the end of August). The victims was a resident of central Maryland, and had eaten cantaloupe. Traceback is continuing.
  • Massachusetts:- No cases.
  • Michigan:- No cases.
  • Minnesota:- No cases.
  • Mississippi:- No cases.
  • Missouri:- Three (3) confirmed case (94-year old individual); one death. The “immediate” cause of death was not a Listeria infection.
  • Montana:- One confirmed case in Yellowstone County. One case under investigation in Gallatin County.
  • Nebraska:- Six (6) confirmed cases; one death (a man in his 80s from the western part of the state. No additional cases under investigation. The six victims – all of them more than 75 years old – were residents of five different counties: Douglas (2), Gage, Hitchcock, Seward, and Cherry.
  • Nevada:- No cases.
  • New Hampshire:- No cases.
  • New Jersey:- No cases.
  • New Mexico:- Thirteen (13) confirmed cases (5 deaths). According to a Sept 29th news release, the five fatal cases include a 93-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 61-year-old female from Curry County, a 63-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 77-year-old man from McKinley County and a 96-year-old female from Lea County. The other New Mexico cases have come from Bernalillo, Chaves, Otero, De Baca, and Valencia counties. The cases range in age from the 43 to 96 and include 7 men and 6 women. No additional cases are under investigation at this time.
  • New York:- No cases.
  • North Carolina:- No cases.
  • North Dakota:- One confirmed case – a 60+ year old woman who was hospitalized in early September. The recalled cantaloupes were supplied to Walmart stores in North Dakota.
  • Ohio:- No cases.
  • Oklahoma:- Eleven (11) confirmed cases, including one death. Outbreak victims are residents of nine different counties: Oklahoma (3), Canadian, Choctaw, Cleveland, Custer, Kay, Love, McCurtain, and Payne. The first Oklahoma patient developed symptoms on August 30th; the most recent on September 15th. The youngest outbreak victim is 61 years old, and the eldest is 96. Nearly three-fourths of the case-patients are male.
  • Oregon:- No cases.
  • Pennsylvania:- No cases.
  • Rhode Island:- No cases.
  • South Carolina:- No cases.
  • South Dakota:- No cases.
  • Tennessee:- No cases.
  • Texas:- Fourteen (14) confirmed cases, including 2 deaths. The investigation continues, but no specific details are being provided on suspect cases.
  • Utah:- No cases.
  • Vermont:- No cases.
  • Virginia:- One case.
  • Washington State:- No cases.
  • West Virginia:- One case. The recalled cantaloupes were not sold in West Virginia.
  • Wisconsin:- Two (2) cases.
  • Wyoming:- Two confirmed cases. One suspect case (female), including one death. Illnesses were reported from Laramie and Sheridan counties. Onset dates of illnesses range from August 31st to September 15th.

As of September 30th, CDC and various states are reporting a total of 84 confirmed cases, and 15 deaths.

Many consumers across the US have asked me whether any of the recalled cantaloupes were shipped to their state or carried by their local supermarket. FDA reports that the recalled cantaloupes were distributed to the following 28 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. None of the cantaloupes were exported.

Thanks to the CDC and Efoodalert.

  • kmbrly

    An estimated 85% of cases of Listeria infection are from deli meats, not melons. While fruits and vegetables can become contaminated they are a significantly lower risk than meat and dairy. It’s important to keep things in perspective and understand which food sources put us at the highest risk for Listeria or other microbial infections. For more information check out Dr. Michael Greger’s article here: http://nutritionfacts.org/?p=4542