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Cucumbers the Source of US Salmonella Poona Outbreak

September 9, 2015
Public Health

A nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Poona in the United States, has been traced back to contaminated cucumbers originally grown in Mexico. So far, 285 people in 27 states have been affected by the illness which is thought to be the primary cause of death for a 99 year old woman in California.

The outbreak began in July, and distributing company Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce, have started a recall of all cucumbers sold under their Limited Edition brand label after 1 August. No other fruits or vegetables distributed by the company are affected.

Imported from the Baja California region of Mexico, the products were sold across 22 US states. More than half of those infected so far have been children under the age of 18. All harvesting of cucumbers by Rancho Don Juanito has been halted while the investigation by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into the outbreak continues. Issuing consumers advice on the recall has also created problems for the authorities, as very few of the cucumbers sold have any form of labeling leaving consumers unsure whether their products have been affected.

The outbreak is the third in as many years in the US related to salmonella contamination in cucumbers. In 2014, there were 275 cases and one fatality from Salmonella Newport and a year earlier, 84 people became ill from Salmonella Saintpaul contamination. On both occasions the source was traced back to suppliers in Mexico.