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Health warning for cantaloupe




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September 13, 2011, 4:36pm
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The Texas Department of State Health Services warns people not to eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Colorado, as they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause severe illness.

The cantaloupes were grown in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado and may carry a Rocky Ford label. Check the label or check with the grocery store where you bought the cantaloupe to determine if the fruit came from the Rocky Ford region.

Texas-grown cantaloupes are not included in the warning and have not been linked to the illnesses.

At least 15 people, including two from Texas, have become ill after consuming Rocky Ford cantaloupe.

Safety precautions:

•Wash hands before and after handling melon.

•Wash and dry melon surfaces with a clean cloth or paper towel before cutting.

•Cut melon should be promptly refrigerated at less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius).

Symptoms of listeriosis

•Fever

•Muscle aches

•Diarrhea

•Vomiting.

People with these symptoms should consult a physician. Symptoms typically occur three to 70 days after exposure. The disease affects primarily older people, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems.
 

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