An outbreak of salmonella illnesses in 18 states has been traced to cucumbers from two suppliers in Mexico, federal health authorities say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are 73 confirmed illnesses linked to eating the cucumbers contaminated with the “Salmonella StPaul” bacteria. No deaths have been linked to the outbreak so far.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed two Mexico-based growers, Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse on a federal import alert. Both companies are located in Culiacán, Sinaloa state, Mexico. Customs agents will deny cucumbers originating from the two companies entry into the U.S. until the suppliers can prove they are safe again to eat.
The cucumbers were distributed by Tricar Sales, an Arizona company, and were consumed at multiple locations throughout the country, the CDC reported.
No recall has been issued because regulators have found no evidence that the culprit cucumbers remain on the market or pose a current health risk.
According to the CDC, about a third of the people who ate the cucumbers have been hospitalized for salmonellosis. Twenty-eight of the sickened consumers live in California.
Other states where illnesses linked to the cucumbers have been identified are: Arizona (9), Colorado (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (8), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (6), Virginia (2), and Wisconsin (2).
The outbreak comes just days after the CDC reported the number of people sickened by foodborne pathogens such as salmonella is on the rise.
Salmonella is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. and it is often transmitted to humans through consumption of fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw, such as cucumbers. Other produce that is normally cooked before eaten may be contaminated, but the cooking process kills the bacteria.
Symptoms of salmonellosis include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and fever. The illness can last for several days. It is not usually deadly unless the person sickened is very young (infants and toddlers), very old, or has a weakened immune system.