Food Safety

FDA Investigating Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers

Main image to the post FDA Investigating Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating whether cucumbers are responsible for a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that has led to 54 hospitalizations.

In a notice posted on its website Wednesday, the agency said data indicate affected cucumbers contaminated with Salmonella may be responsible for 162 illnesses that comprise the outbreak. Zero fatalities have been reported so far.

The majority of those reporting sickness are non-Hispanic white females, the FDA data show.

In a statement, the cucumber producer under investigation said the produce is no longer available for purchase, and that cucumbers now being sold in grocery stores are not part of a recall announced Monday.

“We prioritize consumer safety and eagerly await the FDA’s investigation results regarding the cause of the outbreak," said Florida-based Fresh Start Produce. "While we await test results for our recalled product, we maintain ongoing communication with health authorities."

Testing identified Salmonella in a cucumber collected as part of the investigation, which resulted in the Monday recall. Further testing is now underway to see if it is the same Salmonella strain as the one making people sick, the FDA said.

The potentially affected cucumbers were sold in 14 states by Fresh Start — but the FDA said wholesalers may have shipped them on to additional states. Illnesses linked to the outbreak have been reported in a total of 25 states and the District of Columbia.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections, with 158 illnesses in 23 states, that the FDA said could be linked.

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

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09