San Diego Firm Recalls Cucumbers after Salmonella Outbreak

- A California company is recalling its cucumbers after a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people in 27 states and killed a San Diego woman.

Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego on Friday voluntarily recalled its "Limited Edition" brand garden cucumbers, which were grown in Mexico.

Health officials say the cucumbers are the likely cause of hundreds of illnesses since July 3 and the Aug. 17 death of a 99-year-old woman.

Half the people who became ill are under 18 years of age.

The cucumbers were distributed in 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. 

The company said it is working with health officials to determine if its products are the source of the outbreak, and it undertook the voluntary recall out of caution.

"The safety and health of the consumers who buy our products have always been the highest priority for us," Dave Murray, a partner in the company, said in a phone interview. "I bring our produce home to my family, that's how much I believe in the produce we buy, ship and sell. We've invested millions to make sure our food safety systems are effective and up to date."

The Latest from the CDC:

  • Read the Recall & Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers
  • CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cdc.gov/Other/disclaimer.html (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections. This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
  • 418 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 31 states, an increase of 77 cases since the last update on September 9.
  • -          91 ill people have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported from California (1) and Texas (1).
  • -          52% of ill people are children younger than 18 years.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections in this outbreak.
  • Several recalls of cucumbers that may be contaminated with Salmonella have been announced as a result of this investigation.
  • -          On September 11, 2015, Custom Produce Sales voluntarily recalled cdc.gov/Other/disclaimer.html all cucumbers sold under the Fat Boy label starting August 1, 2015. Unlabeled cucumbers packed into a black reusable plastic container, and sold in Nevada since August 1, 2015, are also covered by this recall. These cucumbers were sent to Custom Produce Sales from Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce.
  • -          On September 4, 2015, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled cdc.gov/Other/disclaimer.html all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015.
  • Recalled cucumbers were distributed in the states of 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, and Utah. Further distribution to other states may have occurred.
  • -          The type of cucumber that has been recalled 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.
  • -          Photos of the packing cartons are available.
  • Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell any of the 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 conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from 3 ill people infected with the outbreak strains.
  • -          All (100%) were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel.
  • -          CDC’s NARMS laboratory continues to conduct antibiotic resistance testing on additional isolates, and results will be reported when they are available.

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