The deadly cantaloupe listeria outbreak that the Center for Disease Control said was over in December has claimed another life on Tuesday -- that of Mike Hauser, a 68-year-old man from Monument, Colorado, Fox31 reports. Hauser's death raises the total estimated deaths from the Colorado cantaloupes to 34 adults.
In December, the CDC released its "final" report on the outbreak stating that the contaminated melons had claimed a total of 30 adult victims and one miscarriage. However, as The Denver Post reports, lawyers representing additional victims claim that four more people have died with illnesses related to the outbreak since that December report.
9News reports that it remains unclear if Hauser's death will be included in the CDC's official list of at least 30 adult deaths and one miscarriage linked to the listeriosis infection because Hauser may have died from a different infection after having recently been treated for listeriosis.
The CDC said in December that a total of 146 people were sickened in 28 different states. The tainted melons came from Jenson Farms located in the southern Colorado town of Holly, which recalled the cantaloups on Sept. 14. In October, the FDA said that pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment at the farm's cantaloupe-packing facility were probably to blame for the listeria contamination. The FDA also said that the farm had stopped using antibacterial washes and did not "pre-cool" cantaloupes off the fields to reduce bacteria growth.
The CDC has said that this was the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in 25 years. Eric Jenson, owner of Jenson Farms, faces multiple lawsuits related to the outbreak.