'Killer' cantaloupes leave 13 dead in U.S.: officials


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So, where does the bacteria come from? I mean, was it in the soil?

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Smith: according to CDC: Listeria monocytogenes is found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacterium without appearing ill and can contaminate foods of animal origin, such as meats and dairy products. When Listeria bacteria get into a food processing factory, they can live there for years, sometimes contaminating food products. The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in foods that become contaminated after cooking or processing, such as soft cheeses, processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meat (both products in factory-sealed packages and products sold at deli counters), and smoked seafood. Unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheeses and other foods made from unpasteurized milk are particularly likely to contain the bacterium.

Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking; however, in some ready-to-eat foods, such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after factory cooking but before packaging. Unlike most bacteria, Listeria bacteria can grow and multiply in some foods in the refrigerator.

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Thanks. I had pretty much guessed it was a soil and/or water factor, and given that it's fruit, eaten as is (after peeling), and all originated from more or less the same place it's safe to assume it was the soil or water given to the plants. Much obliged.

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Thanks, Foxie, but your explanation seems to cover processed foods or those that undergo packaging in a processing facility. Cantaloupes, as far as I know, go from field to box to market. Perhaps the farmer was using fertilizer containing the pathogen.

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Yeesh! That's pretty crazy, and that explanation makes me don't wanna eat precooked food anymore!! DX

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Killer cantaloup?? At first I thought this was a joke, and I just love fresh cantaloups! Thank god they were from Colorado, because every time there is some stupid incident like this in the USA, you get all the racist remarks, must have been from Mexico etc..which as a Mexican really pisses me off. But anyway, I hope this situation is rectified and that they arrest these farmers out in Colorado, too many dead from fresh fruits! If we can not even feel safe about eating fresh fruits, what on earth are we supposed to trust?? RIP dead folk just enjoying their fresh cantaloups.

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