Saturday, September 12, 2015

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers Up to 341 Cases in 30 States

CDC reports that there are now 341 cases of salmonelloisis related to cucumbers.  The California company issued a recall last week, for cucumbers, but still has no idea of how the product became contaminated.  In a press release, they stated that they have ceased all operations.

CDC Website
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Poona Infections Linked to Imported Cucumbers
Posted September 9, 2015 4:30 PM ET

Read the Recall & Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers >>
  • CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections.
  • 341 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 30 states, an increase of 56 cases since the last update on September 4. 
  • 70 ill people have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported from California (1) and Texas (1).
  • 53% of ill people are children younger than 18 years.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified imported cucumbers from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections in this outbreak.
  • 91 (68%) of 134 people interviewed reported eating cucumbers in the week before their illness began.
  • Eleven illness clusters have been identified in seven states. In all of these clusters, interviews found that cucumbers were a food item eaten in common by ill people.
  • Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada isolated Salmonella from samples of cucumbers collected from various locations that were distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce.
  • On September 4, 2015, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • The type of cucumber is often referred to as a “slicer” or “American” cucumber and is dark green in color. Typical length is 7 to 10 inches. 
  • In retail locations the cucumbers are typically sold in a bulk display without any individual packaging or plastic wrapping.
  • A photo of the packing carton is available.
  • Limited Edition cucumbers were distributed in the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Further distribution to other states may have occurred.
  • Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell recalled cucumbers.
  • 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.
  • CDC's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System laboratory is conducting antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from ill people infected with the outbreak strains; results will be reported when they become available.
  • This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

    Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce Website

    September 10, 2015
    Contact: Dave Murray
    Phone: (619) 661-6004

    Statement from Andrew and Williamson on Cucumber Recall

    San Diego, CA -- Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families and their loved ones. We want to let those who are affected know we are fully cooperating with health officials to ensure we are doing everything possible to learn if we are responsible and how this could have happened.

    As soon as we received information from health officials that our product may be the source of this outbreak, we took immediate action to cease all harvesting and packing operations at this facility and to recall product from the market.

    We are currently conducting a thorough evaluation of our cucumber farming and packing operations to determine if we can find the root cause of how this might have happened. We are looking at all control processes and completely scrubbing and cleaning the facility.

    The health and welfare of consumers is our highest priority and we spend millions of dollars on food safety at A&W. We want to get to the bottom of this as much as anyone.

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