Salmonella-Tainted Cucumbers Kill 1, Sicken Almost 300 In 27 States: Are You Safe?


Cucumbers imported into the U.S. from Mexico are being recalled amid worries they may be the source of a salmonella outbreak that has killed one person and infected more than 280.

A California produce company, Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce, announced it was recalling cucumbers sold since Aug. 1 under its Limited Edition label.

The cucumbers from Baja California in Mexico have been distributed in at least 22 states, the company said.

One woman died in California and 53 people have been hospitalized, with reports of infections in 27 U.S. states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

Half of those who became ill were under 18 years old.

"Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce, of San Diego, Calif., was a common supplier of cucumbers that were eaten by the people in these illness clusters," the FDA said based on research by federal and state authorities of infection clusters.

The company said it was voluntarily recalling cucumbers in a cautionary move.

"The safety and health of the consumers who buy our products have always been the highest priority for us," said Dave Murray, a partner in the company. "I bring our produce home to my family; that's how much I believe in the produce we buy, ship and sell. We've invested millions to make sure our food safety systems are effective and up to date."

The variety of cucumber in the recall is sometimes called a "slicer" or "American" cucumber and, at the retail level, is usually sold in bulk without plastic wrapping or packaging.

Consumers are being advised to either return the cucumber to the place they were purchased or dispose of them.

Symptoms of salmonella infections can include fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea, with the symptoms appearing between 12 to 72 hours after consuming a product contaminated with the bacteria.

The illness can last from four to seven days, although most people recover without treatment.

However, the young and the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, can be more seriously affected.

Eighteen of the 22 states the cucumbers were shipped to have reported infections, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Nine other states have reported infections, although cucumbers were not shipped directly there.

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