January 24, 2018

Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Linked to Imported Cucumbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul that is linked to imported cucumbers. So far, 73 people in 18 states have been sickened. Fourteen people have been hospitalized. There are no deaths and no recall has been issued relating to this outbreak.

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On April 24, 2013, the FDA placed Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico on an Import Alert. That means cucumbers from those facilities will not be allowed into the United States unless the suppliers show they are not contaminated with Salmonella. There is no evidence that contaminated cucumbers supplied by those firms are still in the marketplace.

The patients by state are as follows: Arizona (9), California (28), Colorado (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (8), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (6), Virginia (2), and Wisconsin (2). Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 80 years, with a median age of 23 years. Sixty percent of ill persons are female. Thirty of 45 ill persons interviewed reported eating cucumbers purchased or consumed at multiple locations or restaurants. Public health officials traced cucumbers eaten by six ill people to the distributor, Tricar Sales, Inc., and further back to the suppliers, Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico.

The CDC says that the number of illnesses reported has declined substantially since a peak in early March. But because there is a lag between when a person gets sick and the illness is reported to officials, additional patients may still be identified. Investigators expect at least five more cases of Salmonella Saintpaul. If you have eaten cucumbers and experienced the symptoms of a Salmonella infection, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains, see a healthcare provider immediately. Long term complications of a Salmonella infection can be severe.

Always prepare produce according to safe food handling guidelines. Wash and scrub produce under running water; even fruits and vegetables you peel before eating. Always choose fruits and vegetables that are not soft, wrinkled, bruised, or cut. Keep produce refrigerated and buy bagged produce with a use by date as far into the future as possible.

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