Health officials said on Wednesday that two people have died from cucumbers tainted with salmonella, and over 300 have fallen ill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 341 people were affected across 30 states, a significant jump since September 4, when only 56 cases had been reported. So far, the CDC says 70 people have been hospitalized, and two people have died as a result of eating the tainted cucumbers. One of the deaths came from California, while the other occurred in Texas. Fifty-three percent of the affected people are children under the age of 18.
According to epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations, the cucumbers were determined to have been imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. Reports state that 134 ill people were interviewed by the CDC, and 91 of them reported eating cucumbers sometime in the week before they became sick.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled their cucumbers in early September as a precaution. The products were grown and packaged by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico and can be identified in distribution channels as “Limited Edition” brand pole-grown cucumbers from August 1 to September 3. They are dark green in color and average in size from seven to 10 inches long.
“Our first priority has been to ensure consumers are protected, so we have issued a voluntary recall of our Limited Edition label cucumbers,” the company said in a statement. “Every effort has been taken to remove this product from the market and we have stopped all harvesting and packing operations at the grower’s facility.”
“At A&W, we live food safety 24/7. It is ingrained in our culture. To us, food safety is so much more than an audit, we understand it is a process of continuous improvement. If we have a problem, we are going to find it and we are going to fix it,” the statement added.
The “Limited Edition” cucumbers were sold in the following states: 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.
The California Department of Public Heath is urging consumers to check with their local grocery store to determine if the cucumbers they purchased are impacted by the recall. Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce also said consumers with concerns can reach them at (844) 483-3864. They can also be reached through their website, (www.andrew-williamson.com), or via social media channels.
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