3 dead, more than 550 sickened in U.S. in cucumber salmonella outbreak

Field cucumbers, in-store products sold at Safeway stores from Ontario to B.C. recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. Supplied / Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Three people in the United States have died in a outbreak of salmonella linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico, which have led to recalls throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control said three deaths have been reported in Arizona, California and Texas. Fifty-two per cent of the people who have been sickened are children.

The CDC continues to investigate the outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections. According to the CDC, “558 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 33 states, an increase of 140 cases since the last update on September 15.”

READ MORE: Cucumber recall in Canada expanded again

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the Overwaitea Food Group based in B.C. is recalling field cucumbers linked to the outbreak sold at Save On Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Coopers Foods, Overwaitea and Freson Brothers stores in B.C. and Alberta.

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The affected field cucumbers were sold unwrapped on or before Sept. 4.

Safeway recalled the cucumbers this week along with other in-store products, like salads, that could contain the cucumbers.

The CFIA says it is not aware of any reported illnesses in Canada associated with eating the cucumbers.

In the U.S., the cucumbers that tested positive for salmonella were distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce and the company began a voluntary recall of its “Limited Edition” cucumbers.

“Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell recalled cucumbers,” the CDC said on its website.

“If you aren’t sure if your cucumbers were recalled, ask the place of purchase or your supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.”

Symptoms caused by salmonella include diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.

Food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick and affect a wide range of food from pork and poultry to vegetables.

With files from Andrew Russell


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