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Pelham Market Owner Talks Cantaloupe Outbreak

PELHAM, N.Y. – John DeCicco knows about the recent sickness and deaths caused by cantaloupes but the owner of DeCicco Food Market in Pelham has taken steps to ensure his customers will not be affected.

DeCicco said cantaloupes are a popular item at his supermarket and that he and his staff check the fruit before it goes onto the shelves.

“The ones we buy are not from that area,” DeCicco said. “We check and double check that our products are not from the area.”

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.

DeCicco said he called his wholesaler to check that the cantaloupes he gets at his store are not from the area that produced the tainted fruit.

Pelham resident Michelle Boyle posted on The Daily Pelham Facebook page that she is still worried about the outbreak.

“When an outbreak of food poisoning occurs, I avoid that food for a long time,” Boyle said. “I will not eat cantaloupes for at least until next summer.”

Are you worried about the listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes? Join the conversation, leave your comment below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DailyPelham .

Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at

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