September 27, 2016

FDA Begins Testing Cucumbers and Hot Peppers

The FDA is ramping up testing of cucumbers and hot peppers, after six reports of food poisoning outbreaks linked to cucumbers from 1996 to this year.  Those foods are eaten raw, and they are often contaminated. Produce can be contaminated in several ways. It can come into contact with polluted water, or dirty equipment during growing, harvesting, and post-harvest production. Ill workers who harvest and sort the produce by hand can also contaminate it. The government is seeking information on the prevalence of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H76 on fresh cucumbers. There is currently a Salmonella outbreak linked to slicer cucumbers imported from Mexico by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. The CDC reports that 838 people in 38 states have been sickened in the past two months. Fresh … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Grows Again, 767 Sick

At least 767 people in 36 states are now part of the Salmonella outbreak linked to imported cucumbers. Since the last update on October 6, the outbreak has expanded to a new state, Florida, and 35 new cases from 14 states have been added. There have been four deaths and 157 hospitalizations. About 50 percent of those sickened are children under 18. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say the outbreak, which they have linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, is ongoing. Two cucumber recalls have been issued. The first, on September 4, 2015, by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce for cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from … [Read more...]

Fourth Person Dies in Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak

A fourth person has died in the Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers distributed nationwide by Andrew & Williamson. The fatalities were reported from Oklahoma, Arizona, California, and Texas. There are now 732 people in 35 states who have been sickened, 150 of them have been hospitalized. That 28 percent hospitalization rate is higher than the average 20 percent. That could be because 50 percent of the case patients are children under 18, an age group that is at high risk for food poisoning and for serious complications of foodborne infections. If you ate cucumbers and have suffered the symptoms of a Salmonella infection, see your doctor.  Treatment can help alleviate symptoms and clear the infection. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Poona is not resistant to antibiotics. … [Read more...]

Canadians Given More Cucumber Recall Info Than Americans

Same company. Same product. But in Canada, where Andrew & Williamson cucumbers are also being recalled, consumers got information they haven't in the U.S. - a complete list of stores where the recalled cucumbers were sold and a PLU number identifying the cucumbers. The cucumbers are being recalled in conjunction with an outbreak of Salmonella Poona that has killed two people, sickened 341 and hospitalized 70 in the U.S. Investigators used epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations to identify cucumbers from Mexico distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego as the  likely source of the outbreak. Four state health departments -Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada, isolated Salmonella from the company’s cucumbers collected from various … [Read more...]

Two Dead in Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak

Two women have died in the multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to cucumbers grown in Mexico. One was from Texas, the other from California. They were among the 341 people in 30 states who have been sickened by contaminated cucumbers. Both women were in high-risk categories for Salmonella infection which includes children, seniors, those with compromised immune systems and those with serious underlying health conditions. One of the women was 99 years old, the other had underlying health conditions, according to health officials. The cucumbers in question are called “slicer” or “American” cucumbers.  They are dark green, about 7 to 10 inches long, and about 1.75 to 2.5 inches in diameter. In grocery stores they are usually  sold in bulk bins with no individual … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Triggers Custom Produce Cucumber Recall

The deadly cucumber Salmonella outbreak has triggered another cucumber recall. This one by Custom Produce Sales of  Parlier, California. The recalled cucumbers were sold under the Fat Boy® label starting August 1, 2015.  Unlabeled cucumbers packed into a black reusable plastic container were sold in Nevada, as of August 1, 2015 are also covered by this recall. No other Fat Boy® products are covered by this recall. Custom Produce is working with health authorities on this recall and  has contacted all customers who may have received this product. Salmonella causes serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, seniors and others with weakened immune systems.  Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Fat Boy® … [Read more...]

E. coli on Jimmy John’s Cucumbers Sickened 9 in 2013

Cucumbers imported from Mexico were the source of a 2013 E.coli outbreak that sickened nine Jimmy John’s customers in the Denver area in 2013. It was the first time  in the U.S. that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to cucumbers. The nine people who were sickened reported eating sandwiches containing cucumbers at three Denver-area Jimmy John’s shops in early October 2013. Lab tests revealed they were all sickened by the same strain of E.coli. Health investigators say it's likely that the cucumbers became contaminated before they arrived at the sandwich shop locations. That could mean that the cucumbers were contaminated during growing, harvest, transport, or distribution. Salmonella is more often associated with cucumbers, such as the outbreak last year that sickened 275 … [Read more...]

Secret Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Sickened 275 in 2014

Did you get Salmonella from cucumbers you ate last summer? If so, you may be among the 275 people who were part of a 29-state outbreak that was never announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Until today. The outbreak, which occurred between May and September, was one one largest of 2014, only the cyclospora outbreak, which sickened 304 people was bigger. One fatality was reported. It isn't clear from the CDC's report if any people were hospitalized or why the agency was mum about the outbreak which lasted four months. Interviews with some of those sickened revealed that travel to the Delmarva region during the incubation period was commonly reported. And results from whole genome sequencing (WGS) show that outbreak strain, Salmonella Newport JJPX01.0061 … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #6

A Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico was the sixth-largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013. The 18-state outbreak, which began in January and ended in April, sickened 84 people, 17 of  whom were hospitalized. Infections from the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul are rarely seen in the U.S., with less than five cases typically reported each year. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to find the genetic "fingerprint"of the bacterial strain, public health investigators linked the outbreak to cucumbers grown by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed both suppliers on import alert on April 24, … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Over According to CDC

The Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak linked to imported cucumbers has ended, according to the CDC. A total of 84 people in 18 states were infected with the outbreak strain of the bacteria. Seventeen people, or 28%, were hospitalized in this outbreak. The case count of the outbreak by state is as follows: Arizona (11), California (29), Colorado (2), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (9), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (7), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (2). Illness onset dates ranged from January 12, 2013 to April 28, 2013. The ill persons ranged in age from less than 1 year to 89 years, with a median age of 27 years. Sixty-two percent of ill persons were female. Public … [Read more...]

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