BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A deadly listeria outbreak claims the life of a Maryland woman.
Kai Jackson reports how the bacteria is spreading across the country through fruit.
Consumers across the nation are on edge, and now the fear has spread to Maryland.
The bacteria has gotten into cantaloupes in more than a dozen states. The Centers for Disease Control says eight people have died from eating listeria tainted cantaloupe–four in New Mexico, two in Colorado, one in Oklahoma and most recently a person in Maryland.
Leigh Chapman is the infection prevention coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center.
“Listeria is a bacteria that is found in water and soil,” Chapman said. “When consumers purchase a cantaloupe and bring it home, they are not washing the outside of the fruit and using the knife to cut and that is how people have gotten sick.”
The tainted cantaloupe has been traced to a farm in Holly, Colo.
The fruit was shipped July 29 through Sept. 10.
In addition to the deaths, 55 people in 14 states have become sick from the cantaloupe.
The labels are Colorado grown, Frontera Produce, Jensen Farms, and Sweet Rocky Fords.
Experts say most healthy adults can consume listeria without getting sick, but it can kill the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.