HEALTH

Listeria outbreak now deadliest food-borne illness in 25 years

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WASHINGTON (AP) - An outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is now linked to 23 deaths in the U.S., making it the deadliest known outbreak of food-borne illness in more than 25 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that 116 people have been sickened in the outbreak, including those who died. The number of deaths has now surpassed a 1998 outbreak of listeria in processed meats that was linked to 21 deaths. A 1985 listeria outbreak in Mexican-style soft cheeses killed 52 people.

The CDC confirmed two more deaths in Louisiana that the state had said it was investigating last week. Other deaths were reported in Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

Colorado's Jensen Farms recalled the tainted cantaloupe last month.

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