Cucumber Recall May Be Linked to Salmonella Outbreak Responsible Involving 160 Illnesses: CDC

Federal investigators are still trying to confirm the strain detected in the cucumbers caused a salmonella impact that has sickened individuals nationwide.

A salmonella food poisoning outbreak that has sickened people in dozens of different states appears to be linked to recalled Fresh Start cucumbers sold nationwide, according to federal health officials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the cucumber salmonella outbreak on June 5, indicating that at least 162 illnesses have been linked to the same strain of bacteria, including 54 illnesses serious enough to require hospitalization.

Just days before the warning was issued, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Fresh Start cucumber recall on May 30, following the detection of salmonella in one sample by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Although the salmonella outbreak had already been detected at the time of the recall, federal investigators were uncertain if the illnesses were directly linked to the recalled cucumbers. However, the CDC announcement indicates that the salmonella-infected cucumber that was collected increases the likelihood of a connection.

Both agencies are continuing to investigate the outbreak, seeking to determine if the same strain of salmonella detected in cucumbers is the one making dozens of consumers ill nationwide.

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Fresh Start Cucumber Recall

The recalled cucumbers were sold in bulk by Fresh Start to retail distribution centers, wholesalers, and food service distributors in 14 states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. However, the CDC and FDA warn that those sellers may have shipped the cucumbers to additional states or repackaged them for other stores. The cucumbers were not sold under a specific brand name.

They were grown in Florida and shipped from May 17 to May 21. Though they should no longer be on store shelves, some may still be in consumer refrigerators or prepared meals. The recall does not include English cucumbers or mini cucumbers.

The CDC warned consumers not to eat recalled cucumbers if they still have them at home, and wash any items or surfaces that may have come into contact with the produce, using soap and hot water. Because the cucumbers were not sold under a specific brand name, consumers should check with the store where their cucumbers were purchased to determine if they are part of the recall.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Fresh Start Product Sales at 1-888-364-2993.

Salmonella Food Poisoning Risks

Salmonella food poisoning can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually begin about 6 hours to 6 days after consuming the bacteria. However, most people recover on their own without medical treatment within roughly one week.

Some people with a weakened immune system, people older than 65, and young children may experience serious symptoms from Salmonella food poisoning. They may require medical treatment and hospitalization. In severe cases, salmonella infection can be fatal.

People who are experiencing symptoms of salmonella poisoning should call their doctor or seek medical treatment if they experience any of these things:

  • Diarrhea or a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unable to keep liquids down
  • Dehydration, including symptoms such as not urinating, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing.

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