Listeria outbreak in Colorado cantaloupe linked to 21 deaths, and death toll could continue to rise, says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WASHINGTON , October 7, 2011 () – Federal health authorities say a nationwide outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is now responsible for 21 deaths and the number may continue to grow.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported new deaths in Indiana and New York. The CDC also confirmed a death in Wyoming that state officials reported last week. CDC said 109 people have been sickened in the outbreak.

The death toll in the cantaloupe outbreak is now tied with a 1998 outbreak of listeria in hot dogs and possibly deli meats. The deadliest outbreak before that is believed to have been listeria in Mexican cheese in 1985.

Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., recalled the tainted cantaloupes Sept. 14. They were shipped all over the country but should be off store shelves by now.

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