October 7, 2015 — An outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to cucumbers from Mexico continues to worsen, with another 61 illnesses and two more deaths reported since September 29.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 732 illnesses have been confirmed in 35 states, including 4 deaths and 150 hospitalizations.
One person died in Oklahoma, in addition to deaths reported in Arizona, California, and Texas. About half of the illnesses were reported in children under 18 years old. California remains the hardest-hit state, with 192 illnesses and one death.
Recalls were issued on September 4 and September 11.
The epi curve appears to show the number of cases slowing down, but the number of cases could continue to rise given the 14-day shelf-life of cucumbers and the gap between when someone gets sick and the illness is confirmed to be part of an outbreak.
Multiple investigations have traced the outbreak to cucumbers grown in northern Baja Mexico and imported to the United States by San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce (A&W). The outbreak strain has been identified as Salmonella Poona.
The problem is that consumers may not realize they purchased or ate a recalled cucumber. Many of the cucumbers were distributed to nationwide restaurant chains like Red Lobster or sold unlabeled in the bulk-foods section of grocery stores.
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