Health officials say as many as 16 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes, the deadliest food outbreak in more than a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.

The death toll released by the CDC Tuesday – including newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas – surpassed the number of deaths linked to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts almost three years ago. Nine people died in that outbreak.

The CDC said Tuesday that they have confirmed two deaths in Texas and one death each in in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Last week the CDC reported two deaths in Colorado, four deaths in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and one in Maryland.

New Mexico officials said Tuesday they are investigating a fifth death, while health authorities in Kansas and Wyoming said they too are investigating additional deaths possibly linked to the tainted fruit.

Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak Is The Deadliest In A Decade; 16 Dead So Far

Just a reminder from the GOP.

This problem would not occur if you would just vote Republican, and insure that all regulations on business are done away with.

That would free businesses from the oppression of government, and allow the hands of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke on the free marketplace to work, so that it would respond to incidents like this by insuring that best practices for health, sanitation, food processing for vegetables and animal products, and even worker safety are always followed by businesses. Because we all know they would do so immediately, fearing retaliation by their consumers. It is the oppressive government and its horrid regulations that create these incidents.

I am just surprised I still have to explain this to Americans anymore.