Cucumbers are being recalled in a Salmonella scare that has effected 285 people so far, with 53 people hospitalized and 1 dead across the U.S.
A Salmonella outbreak caused by vegetables, while uncommon, isn’t unheard of. An outbreak of the bacteria in the U.S in 2008 was believed to have been caused by jalapeno and Serrano peppers, as well as tomatoes.
Earlier this summer, backyard hobby farmers were becoming contaminated with Salmonella from cuddling and kissing pet chickens.
But more commonly, Salmonella poisoning is caused by bacteria in raw meat, in particular, chicken.
This time around, twenty-seven states have reported patients as being infected with Salmonella Poona, a strain likely coming from cucumbers grown in Mexico and shipped north by San Diego, California distributor, Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce.
The company has issued a recall on all cucumbers.
“The safety and welfare of consumers is the highest priority for our company,” says Fred Williamson, president. “We are taking all precautions possible to prevent further consumption of this product and (we) are working to learn if and how these cucumbers are involved in the ongoing outbreak.”
Vegetables can become contaminated with Salmonella by coming in contact with manure in soil or sewage in water. Contamination can also occur if produce is stored next to raw, contaminated food.
Replacing fluids is important when treating Salmonella poisoning, to avoid dehydration. The Mayo Clinic states that in severe cases, as in some of the cases above, hospitalization may be required, with the possible use of anti-diarrheals and antibiotics.