Deadly Fruit Kills Western New Yorker

October 20, 2011 Updated Oct 20, 2011 at 8:24 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Jaclyn Asztalos

October 20, 2011 Updated Oct 20, 2011 at 8:24 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - This is the second case of a Listeria related death from cantaloupe found in the state but the first in Western New York. Authorities said the elderly woman died of the illness but she also had underlying health conditions.

Health officials stress that the fruit was not bought at a local grocery store. What officials do know is that the tainted melon came from an unsanitary packing facility in Colorado called Jensen Farms. They go on to say that the machines for packing the cantaloupe were not properly cleaned. Also, the fruit was not pre-cooled before they put it in a cold storage area so that may have caused the bacteria outbreak.

"Our message right now is that, it is safe to eat cantaloupe, of course if it came from Jensen Farms, you wouldn't want to eat it. If you have any signs or symptoms of illness, report to your primary care provider or other health care provide," Barbara Roszak with the Ontario County Health Department said.

The Colorado farm and its cantaloupe have been connected to 25 deaths. More than 100 people across the country got sick after eating the fruit.

Health officials also remind people that it could take anywhere from three days to more than two months for symptoms to develop which including fever, muscle aches and nausea. If the bacterium spreads to the nervous system, there may be headaches, stiff neck and confusion. They said this is the worst food born illness in more than 25 years.