Mason and I were enjoying some fresh cantaloupe last night when a report came on the news about the listeria outbreak caused by tainted cantaloupe from Colorado. I had heard about the outbreak earlier this month, but I thought it had been contained and was nothing to worry about at this point. Apparently I was dead wrong. I turned the TV up and heard Brian Williams report that the Centers for Disease Control had just announced that the contaminated cantaloupe has killed 13 people and sickened 72 others in 18 different states so far and there could be more since the symptoms of listeria (muscle aches, gastrointestinal distress, and fever) don’t appear right away. I dropped the piece of melon I was eating and looked over at Mason’s tray. The cantaloupe I had cut up for him was all gone. I looked on the floor and in his seat, hoping he had thrown it on the floor like most everything else we feed him these days. A few pieces were scattered around him but clearly he had eaten some of it. Of course. He picked this moment to eat what I had wanted him to eat.
Panicked, but trying not to seem panicked since Mason was sitting next to me, I grabbed the container of fresh-cut cantaloupe I had just purchased. I looked for the source of the fruit on the label but it wasn’t listed. My heart started to beat a little faster. What if Mason and I had just eaten listeria-laced fruit? How could I have missed that this outbreak was still raging on? I grabbed my cell phone and Googled the number for our grocery delivery service. The call connected and then I was put on hold. I sat there watching my giggling baby and praying the melon wasn’t from Jensen Farm, the source of the outbreak. When a customer service rep finally came on the line she was extremely nice and assured me the fruit had come from California, not Colorado. She also assured me that the company would of called us immediately if had we purchased tainted food. What a relief! Mason and I enjoyed the rest of the cantaloupe this morning but I don’t think I’ll be buying any more for a while, just in case. Am I overreacting by avoiding cantaloupe for the next month or so?