We have written on the dangers associated with Salmonella poisonings in previous issues and have stated frequently that the consequences can be deadly. Recently, the Salmonella outbreak of illnesses linked to Mexican-grown cucumbers has expanded to 36 states, prompting federal officials to step up multistate recall efforts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a number of state and local health officials continue to investigate the multistate outbreak of illnesses caused by a strain of Salmonella Poona, which has infected more than 750 people in 36 states.
The FDA and CDC reported that at least 157 people have been hospitalized with salmonella poisoning and four people have died after eating contaminated cucumbers grown in Baja, Mexico, supplied by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, Calif.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce reported that the cucumbers were distributed in the states of 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 and reached customers through retail, food service companies, wholesalers, and brokers.
The FDA describes the cucumbers as a dark green “American” or “slicer” variety, which grows 7 to 10 inches long. The cucumbers are typically displayed in stores in bulk fashion without individual labels or packaging.
Salmonella is the second most common foodborne illness in the United States. Symptoms of salmonella include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea and mucous over a period of days. Dehydration, especially among infants, may be severe. People who are at high risk for Salmonella poisoning include infants, elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women.
This is not the first salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers. An outbreak of Salmonella Newport in 2014 affected 275 people in 29 states and the District of Columbia in 2014. That outbreak was linked to cucumbers grown in the Delmarva region of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. If you have information on this subject, contact Will Sutton, a lawyer in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at William.Sutton@BeasleyAllen.com,.
Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food Safety News