WASHINGTON — Federal health officials say an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is expected to cause more illnesses and may lead to more deaths in coming weeks.

So far, the outbreak has caused at least 72 illnesses, including as many as 16 deaths, in 18 states.

The heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said today that consumers who have cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado should throw them out. If they are not sure where the fruit is from, they shouldn’t eat it.

The government has not supplied a list of retailers who may have sold the fruit. Officials say consumers should ask retailers about the origins of their cantaloupe.

Jensen Farms says it shipped cantaloupes to 25 states.