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Local Cantaloupe Lovers Cool It in Somers

SOMERS, NY-- Bacteria linked to tainted cantaloupes has caused the deadliest food outbreak in the nation in more than a decade.

As many as 16 people have died and more than 70 have fallen ill from a possible listeria outbreak related to cantaloupes, according to a report in USA Today. The affected fruit comes from Colorado. A report in The Washington Post said the fruit comes from Jensen Farms in that state.

The Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday confirmed deaths in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Maryland.

USA Today reported that Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC said the death and illness count could increase in the next few weeks because the symptoms of listeria, the bacteria responsible for the outbreak, sometimes do not manifest until four weeks or more after someone eats food tainted by the bacteria.

Shoppers in the produce section of the Somers Commons Stop & Shop were greeted with a large sign stating, “Important Info: The cantaloupe for sale in our store is NOT involved in the recent cantaloupe recall.”

Nevertheless, shopper Sherri Fein, who referred to the listeria scare as “cantaphobia,” said, “I do eat cantaloupe but I won’t for a while. Better safe than sorry. I just came back from Atlantic City and they had cantaloupe on the buffet table. I told my boyfriend not to touch it.”

Angel Chaluisan, on the other hand, said he is cutting back on cantaloupe because they’ve been expensive lately and they spoil too quickly for him. “I don’t buy them unless I can eat them in a day.” He was not concerned about “cantaphobia.”

In response to the questions on our facebook page, “Are you a cantaloupe lover? Have the tainted cantaloupe deaths caused you to stop buying/eating them?” Somers responder, Rozmarin Szabo Bruncaj, wrote, “Yesss and Yesss.”

North Salem’s Claudia Marra Badia wrote, “My son purchased one the other day. After hearing all of this, I just threw it out.”

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