Cucumber Recall Issued Amid Salmonella Poisoning Illnesses, Death

Government health officials indicate that certain brand name cucumbers imported from Mexico are being recalled, after traceback investigations linked them to a Salmonella Poona outbreak that has caused hundreds of individuals nationwide to suffer food poisoning,and killed at least one. 

The FDA announced a Andrew Williamson Limited Edition Brand Cucumber recall on September 4, 2015, after receiving at least 285 salmonella poisoning reports from 27 different states. The manufacturer has suspended harvesting and packaging of all cucumbers with the potential to be linked to the current outbreak until the FDA has concluded its investigation.

The recall includes all cucumbers sold and distributed under the Limited Edition brand label from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015. The cucumbers were shipped in a black, green, yellow, and craft colored cartons displaying the brand name “Limited Edition Pole Grown Cucumbers”.

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The cucumbers are commonly referred to as “Slicers” or “American” cucumbers and are dark green in color. They typically measure 7 to 10 inches long and have a diameter of 1.75 to 2.5 inches wide.The recalled cucumbers were sold in bulk display without any individual plastic wrapping to grocers and markets and are usually served as part of a salad in restaurant establishments.

The recalled cucumbers were imported from Mexico by Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, California where they were distributed from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015 to 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.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, the FDA’s epidemiological and traceback investigations have pinpointed the Andrew and Williamson Limited Edition cucumbers as the most likely source of the outbreak. Seven of the 27 states impacted by the recall have reported 11 large outbreak clusters with Utah and Arizona accounting for at least 90 of the reported infections.

To date, the FDA has interviewed 80 people who have become ill with the strand of Salmonella Poona poisoning since July 3, 2015. Of those interviewed, 73% remember consuming some sort of cucumber within the week before falling ill. The data also indicated that 53 people have been hospitalized as a result of the infection and 54% of all illnesses impacted children under the age of 18 years old.

Salmonella is a foodborne bacterium that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe symptoms. For most healthy adults, problems associated with food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.


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