Victims of Listeria Outbreak Speak Out
Listeria infects the water and soil where fruits and vegetables grow, but in this case, authorities don't know yet how it got there.
Colorado's Jensen Farms recalled its cantaloupe two weeks ago after shipping to more than 20 states last summer.
So far 13 people have died, including this 48-year-old mother of three. "There's got to be some answers to this and how this could happen and it's happening to other people," said Tiffany Weider, Listeria Victim's Daughter.
Because listeria can take weeks to make you sick, the Centers for Disease Control is concerned the outbreak could get worse. 72 people have become ill. Tammie Palmer is suing - her husband has been in the hospital for weeks." Just want people to realize you can't trust some places we purchase food," says Listeria Victim's Wife, Tammie Palmer.
The FDA has no idea how the cantaloupes got contaminated. They're especially worried about seniors, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses. "If your immune system is a little suppressed it can lead to serious infections throughout your blood stream, meningitis and death," says Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Dept. of Health, Dr. Chris Urbina.
Bottom line, experts say, check your refrigerator. "If people have that cantaloupe they should throw it out. If they have cantaloupe and they don't know whether its Jensen Farms they shouldn't eat it,"says Dr. Barbara Mahon of the C.D.C.
There have been at least a dozen cantaloupe outbreaks in the last decade.
The FDA is investigating. They've reportedly questioned a fertilizer manufacturer whose product was used at a nearby farm years ago.