31 sickened in Pa., NJ and Del. in salmonella outbreak potentially linked to recalled cucumbers

Pennsylvania has reported the highest number of people becoming sick out of the 25 states.

ByJamie Gumbrecht, CNN CNNWire logo
Thursday, June 6, 2024
Cucumbers sold in North Carolina recalled
Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc. is recalling whole cucumbers due to the potential for them to be contaminated with salmonella.

Recalled cucumbers might be linked to a multistate salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 160 people.

The US Food and Drug Administration, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local partners are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Africana that has led to 162 illnesses in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Among those cases, 54 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

There have been 27 reports of people becoming sickened with the strain of salmonella in Pennsylvania, three in New Jersey and one in Delaware, according to the CDC. Pennsylvania has reported the highest number of people becoming sick out of the 25 states.

Out of 65 people interviewed for the investigation, 47 reported eating cucumbers, the FDA said Wednesday, and testing by state partners had identified salmonella in a cucumber sample. More testing is underway.

The agencies are also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup to determine whether it's related to the Salmonella Africana outbreak. The Salmonella Braenderup outbreak has led to 158 illnesses in 23 states.

"The two outbreaks share several similarities, including where and when illnesses occurred and the demographics of ill people," the FDA said Wednesday.

Late last month, Florida-based Fresh Start Produce recalled fresh cucumbers shipped distribution centers, wholesalers and food service distributors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Sellers may have shipped to more states or repackaged cucumbers for stores, the CDC said. Mini cucumbers and English cucumbers are not included in the recall.

Symptoms of a salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps that can start within hours or days of consuming the bacteria. Most people will recover without treatment but should seek immediate attention from a healthcare provider if they have severe symptoms, symptoms that don't improve after a few days or signs of dehydration. Children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to become severely ill.

The bacteria kills hundreds of people in the U.S. every year. About 1 million cases of illness are caused by salmonella in food.

The CDC says people should not eat recalled cucumbers, and they should wash items and surfaces that may have touched the cucumbers.

WPVI contributed to this report.

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