Listeria infection connected to Rocky Ford cantaloupes has hit at least 17 confirmed cases across the U.S., officials say.
Investigators have found all remaining Rocky Ford cantaloupes have been pulled from Oklahoma markets' shelves. Homeland and Wal-Mart removed all their Rocky Ford cantaloupes. People who think they might still have the cantaloupes should throw them away, said Laurence Burnsed, director of the Oklahoma Health Department's communicable disease division.
The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms of Granada, Colo. The majority of the patients reported eating cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford growing region.
Symptoms of the infection include fever and muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck and confusion, the Colorado Health Department said. The infection can also cause stillbirths and miscarriages.
Listeria outbreaks typically occur in the U.S. two to four times a year. The investigation into the outbreak is still in the early stages and that officials who identified the listeria strain in Colorado linked it to other states.
Since the outbreak has gone multi-state, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coordinating the investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
People in the high-risk groups for contracting the infection should avoid unpasteurized soft cheese, refrigerated smoked seafood, and deli meats unless they have been reheated to 165 degree Fahrenheit.