By Alison Henderson
The deadliest outbreak of food borne illness in years has killed 13 people and infected at least 72 others.
The cause of the outbreak was linked to the bacteria, listeria. The bacteria was traced back to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado.
Symptoms of a listeria infection are not immediately apparent and the numbers of reported infections are expected to increase in the coming weeks, according to an NPR report.
"After people get infected by food contaminated with the bacteria, it can take weeks for them to start having symptoms like fever and muscle aches," said Nell Greenfieldboyce, an NPR science correspondent.
The outbreak is causing some food distributors to be more cautious, looking to stricter regulations on the way food is grown, handled and cleaned, according to a report in the New York Times.
Stephen F. Patricio, a melon shipper and chairman of the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, said that cantaloupe sales in California were suffering though only Colorado cantaloupes were contaminated, according to the New York Times report.
"The entire melon category needs to look at the best practices and research that's been done by the California industry and others to best analyze their own risks," Mr. Patricio said. "Or we're all going to continue to suffer."