Syracuse (ABC/WSYR-TV) -- What’s safe to eat and what needs to be thrown out? Medical and legal advisors suggest staying on top of specific recall information and using caution at restaurants.
Attorney Bill Marler represents more than a dozen people who got sick from eating cantaloupe. Just one food crisis in a spate that also includes recalls in recent days of beef, lettuce and tomatoes - that's everything in a burger but the bread.
"Became the third most deadliest food-borne illness outbreak that has ever occurred in the United States. It's pretty stunning," Marler said. "People die, we all will, but you shouldn't die from eating cantaloupe. You shouldn't die from eating food. You shouldn't die from having a meal with a friend. It just shouldn't be that way."
Perhaps the most frightening of the recent outbreaks is listeria
in cantaloupe, which has killed at least 13 people, making it the deadliest food crisis in the United States in more than ten years.
It is believed the bad cantaloupes came from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado. The apparently tainted cantaloupes were shipped from July 29 through September 10.
Jensen Farms said they shipped more than 1.5-million cantaloupe to more than two dozen states.
And just because you haven't shown symptoms doesn't mean you're in the clear.
"You ingest the small number of listeria
. They don't make you sick right away," said Dr. William Schnaffner with Vanderbilt Medical Center.
It can take two months before you feel the symptoms, which includes fever and muscle aches. Antibiotics can treat you, but without treatment the illness can leave its victims incapacitated and unable to speak.
And catching outbreaks could get tougher. The USDA is facing a 3.4 percent cut in funding for meat inspections next year. The FDA is getting hit with a 10 percent bite.