The Associated Press reported very late on Tuesday that four people have died from an outbreak of Listeria in cantaloupes from Colorado.
"The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after numerous cases of a strain of Listeria were reported in six states, including at least 11 from Colorado, 10 from New Mexico, two from Texas, and one each from Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma," said the AP.
"The agency said it was the first Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe in the United States. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it had not recalled the melons while it worked to locate the source."
Why bother recalling them. After all, only four people have died. Right?
"This is really silly. You can get Listeria any place" is what the AP reports one of the cantaloupe farmers as saying. How comforting. To this person, a lack of food safety that killed four people is "silly."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention begs to differ. Here is their recommendation:
"Health authorities asked people throwing out Rocky Ford cantaloupes to put them in a sealed plastic bag before putting them in the trash."
That's right -- what the farmer thinks is "silly" is so dangerous that the CDC says it not even safe to just throw them out -- you have to put them in a bag to contain the listeria from spreading.
Another example of how industrial food production cares far more about money than people. Just for the record, according to the CDC, Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems.