Potential Salmonella Outbreak Associated With Cucumbers

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As of Tuesday, 162 people have been sickened and 54 people hospitalized.

photo of cucumbers; Image Credit: harshal-s-hirve-2GiRcLP_jkI-unsplash

The public is advised to check for recalled cucumbers and discard them if they are unsure of their status.

Image Credit: harshal-s-hirve-2GiRcLP_jkI-unsplash

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported it is investigating a Salmonella Africana outbreak associated with cucumbers that were distributed across 14 states.1

According to the FDA, as of June 4, 162 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Africana have been reported from 25 states and the District of Columbia. There have been 54 people hospitalized, and no deaths associated with the outbreak Of the 65 people interviewed, 47 (72%) reported eating cucumbers.2

Fresh Start Produce Sales recalled cucumbers grown in Florida and distributed to retail distribution centers, wholesalers, and food service distributors in AL, FL, GA, IL, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, and WV from May 17 through May 21, 2024.2 Federal official do caution that the affected cucumbers may have been distributed to other states.

The recalled cucumbers are dark green and approximately 1.5 -2.0 inches in diameter and 5-9 inches long. Mini cucumbers and English cucumbers are not included in this recall.2

What the Public Should Do
CDC notes recalled cucumbers should no longer be in stores but to exercise caution at this point.

Specifically, they want consumers to be aware of the recalled cucumbers. If anyone has recently purchased cucumbers and have them at home, consumers can check with the store where they purchased them to see if they were part of the recall. If consumers can’t tell, they are recommended to discard them.

In addition, the federal agency recommends washing items and surfaces that may have touched the recalled cucumbers using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

What You Need to Know

The CDC and FDA reported that 162 people across 25 states and the District of Columbia have been infected with Salmonella Africana as of June 4, 2024.

Fresh Start Produce Sales recalled cucumbers grown in Florida, distributed between May 17 and May 21, 2024, to various states including AL, FL, GA, IL, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, and WV.

People experiencing severe symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as high fever, prolonged diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, excessive vomiting, or signs of dehydration, should contact their healthcare providers.The FDA and CDC are also investigating another Salmonella outbreak (Salmonella Braenderup) to determine if there is a connection between the 2 outbreaks based on their similarities.

Lastly, people should call their health care providers if they have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up1


Ongoing Investigations
It is important to note federal officials from the FDA and CDC have 2 ongoing investigations regarding outbreaks. Along with the aforementioned outbreak, the federal agencies are also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections, with 158 illnesses in 23 states.

The 2 outbreaks share several similarities, including where and when illnesses occurred and the demographics of ill people. Investigators are working to determine whether the 2 outbreaks could be linked to the same food vehicle. Information will be provided on the source of the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak as it becomes available.2

The investigations are ongoing to determine the source(s) of contamination and whether these or other products are linked to illnesses. FDA will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.2

References
1.Salmonella Outbreak Associated With Cucumbers. CDC. June 5, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024.
https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/africana-06-24/index.html
2. Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella: Cucumbers (June 2024).FDA June 5, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024.
https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-cucumbers-june-2024
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