A recall began Labor Day weekend after health officials linked one woman's death and over 280 other cases of food poisoning to a supplier of "American" cucumbers in San Diego.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, which sources cucumbers grown in Mexico's Baja California, issued a recall of the suspect fruit. All American, or "slicer" cucumbers grown since Aug. 1 are being recalled, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced going into the weekend.
"Several state health and agriculture departments are collecting leftover cucumbers from restaurants and grocery stores where ill people reported eating or shopping to test for the presence of Salmonella," the FDA said Friday.
So far, the FDA has been able to isolate Cucumbers as the source of the Salmonella outbreak through a collection of interviews with people who feel ill. Of the 80 people the administration interview, 58 of them reported eating cucumbers recently.
More testing must be done in order to definitively declare Andrew & Williamson's American cucumbers the source of the Salmonella. That in mind, Andrew & Williamson told the FDA they shipped the now suspect cucumbers to 22 states:
Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
The produce suppliers indicated that the cucumbers were shipped through several channels, from retailers to brokers, but didn't name any companies. That in mind, here's a list of some of the retailers the company works with directly or indirectly:
Those include In-N-Out Burger, Whole Foods, Save Mart Supermarkets, Sams's Club, H-E-B, Safeway, The Capital Grille, United Supermarkets, Albertsons, Kroger, Fresh & Easy, Costo, Olive Garden and Red Lobster.Despite shipping the cucumbers to only 22 states, cases related to the outbreak have appeared in 27 states.
Fred Williamson, president of Andrew & Williamson, issued a statement announcing that his company is cooperating with health officials and has briefed all of its customers on the recall. The Limited Edition brand of the company's cucumbers should be returned or destroyed, according to the company's president.
"The safety and welfare of consumers is the highest priority for our company," Williamson said. "We are taking all precautions possible to prevent further consumption of this product and are working to learn if and how these cucumbers are involved in the ongoing outbreak."
Salmonella symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after encountering the malicious microbes and the illness typically last about four days to a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Individuals most likely to experience complications and severe illness include adults over 65, children under five and people who have weakened immune systems.