Washington (AP) -- Federal health officials said Wednesday more
illnesses and possibly more deaths may be linked to an outbreak of
listeria in Colorado cantaloupe in coming weeks. So far, the outbreak has caused at least 72 illnesses -- including up to 16 deaths -- in 18 states, making it the deadliest food outbreak in the United States in more than a decade. The heads of the CDC and FDA say consumers who have cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado should throw them out. If they aren't sure where the fruit is from, they shouldn't eat it. Officials say illnesses are expected for weeks to come because the incubation period for listeria can be a month or even longer. Listeria generally only sickens the elderly, pregnant women, and others with compromised immune systems. Cases have been reported in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.