Two Dead, 341 Sick in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers

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By Maggie Fox

A second person has died in a growing outbreak of salmonella linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico, federal officials said Wednesday.

Thirty states now report infections, with 341 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

“Seventy ill people have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported from California and Texas,” the CDC said in a statement. More than half of the cases are children under the age of 18.

“Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada isolated Salmonella from samples of cucumbers collected from various locations that were distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce,” the CDC added. Andrew & Williamson has recalled all of its “Limited Edition” cucumbers that could be affected.

“Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell recalled cucumbers,” the CDC said.

“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 cucumbers are the large, dark-green type that are 7 inches to 10 inches long and sometimes called American or “slicing” cucumbers.

“These cucumbers are shipped in a green-and-black cardboard box with the label ‘Limited Edition Pole Grown Cucumbers’,” the CDC said.

“Labeling on the cases of recalled cucumbers indicates the product was grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico. Domestically produced cucumbers are not believed to be involved in this outbreak.”

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.