DENVER (KMGH/CNN) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people against eating Rocky Ford cantaloupe after 72 people were sickened and 13 killed in 18 states after they were infected with listeriosis.
Public health investigators have traced the outbreak to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado.
Jensen Farms issued a voluntary recall earlier this month, and says it remains committed to the highest levels of food safety.
The listeria bacteria is typically found in soil and water, but animals can also carry it.
When people get sick from eating food contaminated with listeria, the infection can lead to fever, muscle aches and diarrhea.
In severe cases it can lead to convulsions and stillbirths.
The people at greatest risk for contracting listeriosis are older adults, pregnant women, babies, and anyone with a weakened immune system.
To limit exposure to listeriosis, the CDC recommends avoiding eating any Rocky Ford, CO, cantaloupes.
If you're not sure where a cantaloupe was grown, the retailer will know.
The CDC also recommends washing and drying melons before cutting them, washing your hands, knives, and cutting surfaces after preparing uncooked foods, and consuming perishable foods as soon as possible.