A San Diego woman has died from salmonella poisoning due to a tainted batch of cucumbers imported from across the US border in Mexico. Her death is part of a wider outbreak affecting 285 people across 27 states since July this year with more than half (54%) of those being children younger than 18 years-old.
The state of Arizona has been worst hit, according to reports, as it has identified 66 cases across the territory in just a week. The outbreak is understood to involve the Salmonella Poona strain with cucumber batches exported to the US from Mexico by Andrew & Williamson "likely" to be the source of the infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US.
These cucumbers were shipped in black, green, yellow, and craft coloured cartons which read "Limited Edition Pole Grown Cucumbers". Labelling on the cases of recalled cucumbers indicated the product was grown and packed by the Rancho Don Juanito farm in Mexico.
The cucumbers were distributed in the states of: Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Idaho; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Mississippi; Montana; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Carolina; Texas and Utah and reached customers through retail, food-service companies, wholesalers, and brokers. Further distribution to other states may have occurred, according to the CDC.
In a statement, the organisation, said: "This investigation is rapidly evolving. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available."
Those who have eaten cucumbers are urged to see a doctor if they have severe diarrhoea.
Andrew & Williamson has voluntarily recalled any cucumbers sold under the "Limited Edition" brand label shipped since 1 August. The CDC said that an industry consultation was held on 26 August with four independent experts from the produce industry to obtain information regarding fresh produce harvesting and distribution in the affected region in Mexico.