Friday, November 20, 2015

Cucumber-related salmonella cases on the increase

Images of the cucumber packing boxes.
Although I am not aware of any cases being reported in the greater Capital Region, it doesn't hurt to spread the word: More than 800 people have been stricken with salmonella poisoning traced to imported cucumbers.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of what are termed "salmonella poona infections."

At this point, 838 people infected with the outbreak strains have been reported from 38 states. That is an increase of 71 cases since the last update was issued on October 14. Of that number, four have died and 165 have been hospitalized. The deaths, one in each of four states, occurred in Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The source of the problem has been traced to cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. Two recalls of cucumbers that may be contaminated with salmonella were announced as a result of this investigation: Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce and Custom Produce Sales.

The CDC says, "While investigators work to learn more about the source of the recently reported illnesses, consumers, retailers, and restaurants can do the following: Consumers who purchased recalled cucumbers should wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where cucumbers were stored. Restaurants and retailers that received recalled cucumbers should wash and sanitize any crates or other containers where the cucumbers were held or sold."

The agency said it is unlikely that recalled cucumbers still are in homes or available in restaurants or grocery stores, but consumer should exercise caution if they are not sure of the source of the vegetables."

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