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Rye Grocer Calms Fears About Cantaloupes

RYE, N.Y. -- Chris Colalucci has been telling his customers not worry about buying cantaloupes form his store because he knows where they are coming from.

"We get our cantaloupes from California," said Colalucci, owner of the Rye Country Store. "So they aren't involved in the recall."

Bacteria linked to tainted cantaloupes has caused the deadliest food outbreak in the nation in more than a decade.

As many as 16 people have died and more than 70 have fallen ill from a possible listeria outbreak related to cantaloupes, according to a report in USA Today. The affected fruit comes from Colorado. A report in The Washington Post said the fruit comes from Jensen Farms in that state.

The Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday confirmed deaths in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Maryland.

USA Today reported that Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC said the death and illness count could increase in the next few weeks because the symptoms of listeria, the bacteria responsible for the outbreak, sometimes do not manifest until four weeks or more after someone eats food tainted by the bacteria.

Despite Colalucci's reassurances, some customers are still wary of buying cantaloupes.

"We don't want to sell bad cantaloupes any more than people want to buy them," said Colalucci. "I've been in this business over 20 years, so when I tell people our food is safe, they usually listen to me. If not, I'll be more than happy to show them where it comes from."

Has the listeria outbreak discouraged you from eating cantaloupe?

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