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Three Dead, 558 Sick in Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak

Three people have died and at least 558 have been infected in an outbreak of salmonella linked to imported cucumbers, federal officials said Tuesday.

Although the company that distributed the vegetables has recalled them, more infections are being diagnosed by laboratory tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Of the infected consumers, 112 have been hospitalized and more than half of them are children.

The three deaths were in Arizona, California and Texas.

The recalled cucumbers were distributed in at least 21 other states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah.

"If you aren’t sure if your cucumbers were recalled, ask the place of purchase or your supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out," the CDC said.

Salmonella is a very common cause of food poisoning, making a million people sick every year and killing 380 of them. It causes diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps. It can affect a wide range of foods, including pork, chicken, tuna and vegetables.

On Monday, former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in a 2008-09 salmonella outbreak that killed at least nine people.