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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Locals Split Over Tainted Cantaloupe Outbreak

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – The recent outbreak of tainted cantaloupes has some local residents worried about the fruit, regardless of what local stores have told them.

“I won’t buy them until it’s all gone,” said Irvington resident Patty Raimondo.

Bacteria linked to tainted cantaloupes have 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 Colorado. The cantaloupes have been distributed in 17 states including New York. .

Grocery stores like DeCicco’s in Ardsley have told customers that their cantaloupes are perfectly safe to eat because of where they get them.

“Most of it’s from westside California, some from Florida,” said produce manager Rosny Aguilar.  “It’s the same as the cut up fruit, we do it ourselves.”

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.

Some, however, have still been buying cantaloupe because they trust the tainted fruit has been removed from the shelves.

“I have not been steering away from them,” said Angela Way while fruit shopping at A&P in Hastings.  “I assume whatever powers that be have pulled the ones that are affected.  I don’t believe we need to avoid every cantaloupe on the market.  I have trust that my government has protected me.”

There are still extra precautions being taken by those same people though.

“When I cut the cantaloupe I’ll cut through once, then I’ll run the knife through boiling water under the sink,” Way said.  “Once I make the first cut that you can’t help but go from outside in, I go from inside outside so that it draws any bacteria away from the part I’m going to eat.”

Have you avoided cantaloupe due to the outbreak of illnesses?  Join the conversation and leave a comment below.  Remember to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for more updates on your community.

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