To date. imported cucumbers have been blamed for at least three deaths, 131 hospitalizations, and 671 illnesses in 34 states from Salmonella Poona infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on September 29.
The initial announcement came out September 4, leading to a recall of cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. Additional patients have been identified in the meantime.
Deaths related to the Salmonella outbreak occurred in Arizona, California, and Texas. Reported Salmonella cases include individuals in Alabama (1), Alaska (13), Arizona (112), Arkansas (9), California (164), Colorado (17), Hawaii (1), Idaho (22), Illinois (8), Indiana (2), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (5), Minnesota (34), Missouri (10), Montana (14), Nebraska (5), Nevada (13), New Mexico (30), New York (5), North Dakota (3), Ohio (2), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (19), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (1), Texas (33), Utah (51), Virginia (1), Washington (21), Wisconsin (38), and Wyoming (6).
Medical experts identified the recalled cucumbers as a likely source of the outbreak, as the CDC reported. Product labels from Andrew & Williamson and Custom Produce Sales cucumbers, voluntarily recalled, included Fat Boy and Limited Edition, as well as some unlabeled varieties sold after August 1.
“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,” reads an official statement from Andrew & Williamson. The company also markets blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes, but none of these have been linked to the recall.
Cucumbers included in the recall may have been sold in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and other locations. Although Wisconsin is not included in this list, the high number of related Badger State Salmonella cases seems to indicate residents obtained and consumed affected cucumbers.
What are the symptoms of Salmonella Poona?
A bacterial infection, Salmonella Poona can cause abdominal cramps, chills, diarrhea (perhaps bloody), fever, headache, muscle aches, and nausea. Long-term effects may include heart problems, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis, or even death.
Salmonella illness may last from several days to a week or more. Physicians may prescribe antibiotics as treatment. Seniors, young children, and those with weakened or compromised immune systems may be particularly vulnerable to Salmonella.
Cucumbers generally enjoy a shelf life of up to two weeks, and Salmonella symptoms may arise several days after consumption of infected food, so additional cases may still crop up for some time after the recall of the indicated cucumbers.