Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cantaloupe Aftermath, St. Louis E. Coli and a Cute Little Frog

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I'm in yur saladz, surviving cuz itz organgic. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • I'm in yur saladz, surviving cuz itz organgic.

Over a month after recalling listeria-contaminated cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado, the death toll continues to climb. As of Wednesday, 29 people have died from listeria linked to the melons.

While a 1985 listeria outbreak linked to Mexican cheese killed 52 people, the cantaloupe outbreak has surpassed the number of adult deaths from the previous outbreak. With the cheese outbreak, 28 adults died. The other 20 deaths were miscarriages or stillbirths. One miscarriage has been linked to the cantaloupe outbreak.

The end might finally be in sight. Food-poisoning lawyer Bill Marler told MSNBC, "I think the hopeful sign is that it's tapering off. But people are still in the hospital, some in critical condition. Will that number go up? Unfortunately, I think it will."

No deaths have been reported from St. Louis' E. coli outbreak, although the number of suspected illnesses has jumped to 51, with 16 of those confirmed. The source of contamination still hasn't been pinpointed. The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory continues to test food samples from several Schnucks salad bars.

Tonight, the Centers for Disease Control will start making random calls to households in the neighborhoods where people have been sickened in an effort to compare what people who haven't become ill ate at the time their neighbors became ill.

Not all contamination causes illness. Sometimes, little critters can prove just how safe a food really is. Sort of.

A California woman bought a giant tub of organic salad greens at a Costco on Monday and got a free pet with purchase -- a live tree frog had stowed away in the package.

A representative for Babe Farms, which produced the salad, said that the frog survived because of the lack of pesticides in the organic mix.

The frog has been adopted by a friend of the woman who purchased the salad. His name's Dave.

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