PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Carlos Morales said his store's cantaloupes are safe to eat because they come from farms in California.
"They're fine," said Morales, who works at Port Chester Farm. "I eat them every day."
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.
Morales said no customers have been expressing concern about the cantaloupes.
"We put them in the fruit salad," he said. "And every day they sell."
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