After a five-month battle with listeriosis from eating contaminated cantaloupe, 68-year-old Mike Hauser of Colorado died Tuesday morning, the Denver Post reported.
Hauser’s death brings the number of adult fatalities to 34 in the outbreak traced to Listeria-tainted cantaloupes grown and packed by Jensen Farms and distributed by Frontera Produce. The outbreak, which sickened at least 146 people in 28 states, was the deadliest involving foodborne infection in nearly 100 years.
Four more outbreak victims have died since the final investigation update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which attributed 30 deaths and one miscarriage to listeriosis infections caused by the Colorado cantaloupes.
In addition to Mike Hauser, fatalities not included in the CDC’s count are Paul Schwarz of Missouri, Sharon Jones of Colorado, and Dale Braddock of Nebraska.
Hauser was a retired podiatrist.
Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration and Colorado public health officials have said hard-to-clean equipment and pooled water in the packing plant, in addition to condensation on cantaloupes moved to cold storage, were among the factors contributing to the lethal outbreak.© Food Safety News