CDC Provides Update on Salmonella Poona Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers

September 22, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), multiple states and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections. Currently, 558 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 33 states, an increase of 140 cases since the last update on Sept. 15. 112 ill people have been hospitalized, and three deaths have been reported from Arizona (1), California (1), and Texas; 52 percent of ill people are children younger than 18 years.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections in this outbreak. Several recalls of cucumbers that may be contaminated with Salmonella have been announced as a result of this investigation. On Sept. 11, 2015, Custom Produce Sales voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the Fat Boy label starting August 1, 2015. Unlabeled cucumbers packed into a black reusable plastic container, and sold in Nevada since Aug. 1, 2015, are also covered by this recall. These cucumbers were sent to Custom Produce Sales from Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. On Sept. 4, 2015, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from Aug. 1, 2015 through Sept. 3, 2015.

Recalled cucumbers were distributed in the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Further distribution to other states may have occurred.

The type of cucumber that has been recalled is often referred to as a “slicer” or “American” cucumber and is dark green in color. Typical length is 7 to 10 inches. In retail locations the cucumbers are typically sold in a bulk display without any individual packaging or plastic wrapping.

Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell any of the recalled cucumbers. If you aren’t sure if your cucumbers were recalled, ask the place of purchase or your supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.

CDC's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from six ill people infected with the outbreak strains. All were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel. CDC’s NARMS laboratory continues to conduct antibiotic resistance testing on additional isolates, and results will be reported when they are available.

Source: CDC