The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that 73 cases of Salmonella Saintpaul have been reported across 18 states, believe to be linked to exposure to infected cucumbers. The cucumbers were supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona.
Of reported case, 27 percent, required hospitalization and no deaths have been reported. The youngest person sickened was under one year of age.
Illness related to this outbreak’s strain have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. CDC officials are working in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration as well as state an local officials to identify additional cases and to interview those who have fallen ill about the food they consumed in the week prior to becoming sick.
Cucumber shipments from these producers will be denied by United States customs until it can be proven that that are free from salmonella. There is no evidence that infected cucumbers remain on store shelves.
The CDC recommends the following precautions to minimize risk from potentially infected produce:
Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after handling or preparing produce.
Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry and seafood products and the preparation of produce that will not be cooked.
Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking.
Produce that is labeled “prewashed” does not need to be washed again at home.
Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on produce before preparing and eating.
Refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked produce as soon as possible, or within 2 hours.
Store produce away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Fast facts on salmonella
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.
Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.