With the cantaloupe scare caused by listeria outbreaks across the country, how can you know if you are safe and what are the symptoms of the infection? We have an easy explanation of the infection along with how to go about getting safe cantaloupe.

The cause of this outbreak could be one of many things. Bacteria that causes the disease can be found in wild and domestic animals as well as the soil and water around them. So pinpointing can be pretty difficult. But as soon as the company, Jensen Farms, knew the cantaloupes were infected, they contacted the FDA and issued a recall of all their cantaloupes. Overall, 72 people have been reported falling ill to the disease across 18 states and 14 have died.

Listeria Symptoms

According to MedlinePlus, listeria can take on many forms when contracted by an adult. It can cause meningitis, pneumonia, septicemia, endocarditis, abscesses, skin lesions, and conjuctivitis. If you have been eating cantaloupe and experience any of the symptoms of the above conditions, contact your doctor so you can be given the proper treatment right away.

In infants the symptoms are loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, vomiting, pneumonia, shock, skin rash and increased pressure inside the skull.


Your doctor will assign you antibiotics to help fight the infection. For infants and fetuses that contract the infection, the death rate is high, but in healthy children and adults the death rate is much lower.

Where should I buy my cantaloupe now?

First off, do not buy any cantaloupe if you are pregnant, at an old age, or have some immune system deficiency because the risk seems too great for a measly cantaloupe. While doing research I discovered other tidbits I thought I should share. In fact, pregnant women should not eat soft cheeses, deli meats, or cold salads from salad bars as they could also lead to this and other infections. For healthy, adult, non pregnant people there are healthy cantaloupes out there for your choosing. According to this article from KBZK, Big Sandy Cantaloupe of Montana is reporting all of its cantaloupe is safe and is flying off the shelves despite the scare.

For references and sources visit MedlinePlus and remember to always contact an actual doctor and  not to rely only on the internet. We are here to inform and entertain and point you in the right direction.

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