Most people in Idaho are unaware that the state is part of the deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers that has sickened 558 people in 33 states, state health officials worry. Twenty-one Idaho residents have been diagnosed with salmonellosis from contaminated cucumbers.
Three strains of Salmonella Poona have been identified with this outbreak. The 21 case patients, who range in age from 2 to 86, became ill between Aug. 3rd and Sept. 7. Three of them were hospitalized but have recovered.
“We are concerned that not all Idahoans are aware of the recall and may have recently eaten or still have cucumbers involved with the outbreak in their homes,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho Public Health medical director wrote in entry of the health department’s blog. “If anyone has eaten cucumbers and suspects they may have Salmonella, they should seek medical attention immediately.”
The outbreak has been linked to cucumbers grown in Mexico and distributed in the U.S. by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, California. Four state health departments – Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada – have isolated Salmonella from Andrew & Williamson cucumbers collected from various locations. The Nevada, Arizona and Montana health departments have all isolated outbreak strains from cucumbers collected from retail locations. And the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency isolated one of the outbreak strains from cucumbers collected from the Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce facility.
Andrew & Williamson issued a recall for all cucumbers sold from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015. Custom Produce Sales recalled all cucumbers sold under the Fat Boy label starting August 1, 2015. Stores that have recalled these cucumbers include some locations of Walmart, WinCo, Savemart, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has traced the cucumbers to Rancho Don Juanito de R.L. de C.V. in Baja, Mexico and issued an import alert banning those cucumbers from entering the United States.
Symptoms of salmonellosis, which include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, usually begin within six to 72 hours of exposure and last about a week. Some cases, where the infection travels to the bloodstream, can be life-threatening. Those most at risk are children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems.
About 52 percent of those sickened in all states are children under 18. The median age of case patients from all states, who range in age from 1 to 99 is 16. Illnesses reported so far began on July 3, 2015 and have continued to September 11, 2015. Illnesses that began after that may not yet have been reported.
The case count by state is: Alaska (12), Arizona (95), Arkansas (8), California (120), Colorado (17), Hawaii (1), Idaho (20), Illinois (8), Indiana (2), Iowa (1), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (4), Minnesota (29), Missouri (9), Montana (14), Nebraska (5), Nevada (11), New Mexico (27), New York (5), North Dakota (3), Ohio (2), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (17), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (1), Texas (24), Utah (46), Virginia (1), Washington (18), Wisconsin (29), and Wyoming (4).