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FDA Confirms Source Of Cantaloupe Contamination

There's closure in the investigation of a multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to cantaloupes.

The Food and Drug Administration says it found Listeria monocytogenes, which causes the illness, in Jensen Farms Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupe taken from a store in the Denver area. The bacteria were also found on equipment and cantaloupe at the company's packing facility.

FDA tests confirmed that Listeria found in the samples matched a strain seen in the outbreak.

As the evidence piled up last week, the company recalled its cantaloupes."We are deeply saddened to learn that cantaloupes grown on our farm have been linked to the current Listeria outbreak," Ryan and Lisa Jensen said in statement on the company's website. "Our hearts go out to those individuals and their families who have been affected by this terrible situation."

The recalled cantaloupes were distributed to at least 17 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said reports showed 35 people in 10 states got sick in the listeria outbreak, a dozen of them in Colorado. Four people died.

If you needed a reminder to wash your melons before slicing, this is it.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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