Listeria outbreak in cantaloupe now cause of 25 deaths in 12 U.S. states, the deadliest known outbreak of foodborne illness in the nation in more than 25 years

WASHINGTON , October 19, 2011 () – Twenty-five deaths in 12 states are now linked to listeria in cantaloupe, the deadliest known outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S. in more than 25 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 123 people have been sickened, including those who died.

The tainted Colorado cantaloupes should be off store shelves by now. But the number of illnesses may continue to grow, as the symptoms of listeria can take up to two months to appear.

The CDC on Tuesday confirmed a sixth death in Colorado and a second in New York. Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming have also reported deaths.

Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., recalled the cantaloupes last month.

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