SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith warned people Friday not to eat garden cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, because these cucumbers may be contaminated with Salmonella. CDPH is currently aware of 285 individuals in 27 states infected with Salmonella serotype Poona, with 51 of these case-patients being reported from 17 California counties, including one death. Illnesses continue to be reported.
CDPH has been working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments across the state to assess the scope of this outbreak and identify possible causes.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, Calif. initiated a voluntary recall of their garden cucumbers, after being informed of the epidemiologic association between these cucumbers and the Salmonella Poona outbreak. The recalled garden cucumbers can be identified in distribution channels as “Limited Edition” brand pole grown cucumbers. The labeling on these cases indicates the product was grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico. These cucumbers were distributed between August 1 – September 3, 2015.
It is unlikely that cucumbers in retail grocery stores will have any identifying brand information. CDPH recommends that consumers check with their grocer to determine if the cucumbers they purchased are impacted by this warning.
Domestically produced cucumbers are not believed to be involved in this outbreak.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea which may be bloody. Most infected people recover within a week. Some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for more severe illness.
CDPH recommends consumers experiencing any ill effects after consuming cucumbers should consult their health care provider.