Dallas County Death Linked to Cantaloupe Recall
An 89 year-old Dallas County resident died after being sickened by cantaloupes that may be part of a multi-state recall. Dallas County Health and Human Services learned today that the county's fourth case of listeria is related to cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado. Citing confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, the agency will not identify the victim.

The tainted cantaloupes could have possibly been contaminated with Listeria monocytoges, a bacterium that can cause severe illness. Symptoms often include fever, chills, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea. Those most at risk of becoming ill are the elderly, those who's immune systems are compromised and pregnant females. Dallas County residents are advised not to eat them.

DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson says the agency doesn't anticipate any new cases. "The stores in the area have done a great job in getting the cantaloupes off the shelves and is unlikely that any of those under the recall could still be eaten anyway." He also said that in his experience, it's highly unusual for cantaloupe to be contaminated with listeria.

Seventeen states are involved in the recall including Texas, Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania but the Food and Drug Administrations say that further distribution is possible. Shipments were made between July 29, 2011 and September 10, 2011.

More information about the recall can be found here.

The FDA statement regarding the recall can be found here.