Sep 8, 2015
Multi-state salmonella outbreak linked to garden-variety cucumbers

The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating 15 confirmed cases of Salmonella Poona infection in New Mexico that appear to be linked to eating garden-variety cucumbers grown in Mexico. The department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal and state departments as a part of an ongoing investigation of 285 confirmed cases nationally from 27 states.

CDC has identified the distributor as Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. The distributor has voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from Aug. 1, 2015, through Sept. 3, 2015, because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The cucumbers were sent to grocery stores and restaurants in New Mexico and other states through a non-New Mexico produce distributor.

Garden-variety cucumbers are the thick-skinned unwrapped cucumbers and do not include the long thin wrapped cucumbers (English cucumbers) or the small pickle-shaped cucumbers (Persian cucumbers). Cucumbers grown locally in New Mexico are not part of this outbreak.

In New Mexico, the 15 cases came from seven residents of Bernalillo County, two residents of Doña Ana County, two residents of Sandoval County, and one resident from McKinley, Santa Fe, and Valencia counties, respectively, with one case of unknown residence at this time. Sixty-three percent of the New Mexico cases were hospitalized, ranged in age from 1 to 65 years of age, and approximately 60 percent are female. Illness onset ranged from July 30 to late August.

People who are at high risk for Salmonella infection include: infants, elderly, immunocompromised, including persons on immunosuppressive therapies or medications, and pregnant women. Healthy adults rarely develop severe illness. It is important for people at high risk to follow the standard CDC guidance about Salmonella. People can decrease their risk of Salmonella infection through proper food handling and preparation and by practicing proper hand washing and hygiene practices.

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, an uncommon but potentially serious infection. Salmonellosis is characterized by an acute onset of headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. Dehydration, especially among infants, may be severe.


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