Costco wants better safety from cantaloupe farmers

An operator of a fruit and vegetable stand near Denver holds a California-grown cantaloupe for sale at her business on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Federal and state officials have isolated a deadly outbreak of listeria to one cantaloupe farm near Holly, Colo. They have ordered a recall of 300,000 cases of melons grown on the Jensen Farms. Only California-grown cantaloupe could be found in Denver markets. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

September 29, 2011 1:31:10 PM PDT
Costco is now calling on all cantaloupe farmers and shippers to do more to ensure their fruit is safe.

The demand comes in response to an outbreak of listeria linked to melons from a Colorado farm. As many as 16 people have died and 70 others have been sickened after eating tainted cantaloupes.

Costco now wants the cantaloupe industry to set higher standards for growing, picking and cleaning the melons.

None of the tainted melons were sold in California, but as a precaution, health officials say people should toss any cantaloupes unless they know it came from a safe source.