Federal officials expand efforts as cantaloupe warnings continue - CNN.com(CNN) -- Federal health officials are expanding efforts to ensure no additional bacteria-tainted cantaloupes get to consumers in what has become the most fatal U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness in more than a decade.
The Food and Drug Administration said it has teamed up with state officials in the effort.
"FDA and its state partners are conducting checks at retail stores, wholesalers and distributors to make sure they have received notification about the Jensen Farms' whole cantaloupe recall and that they have taken appropriate action to notify their customers and remove the recalled whole cantaloupes from the shelves," the agency said in a statement Wednesday.
Thirteen people have died in the most fatal U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness since 1998, according to records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The outbreak -- blamed on the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes -- was first reported September 12. It was traced to consumption of Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' fields in Granada, Colorado.
What you need to know about Listeria
As of Monday, it had grown to 18 states, 72 illnesses and 13 deaths, according to the CDC's latest statistics.
See now this is where things like the FDA come in handy...
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