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Washoe County Health District Warns of Cucumber Related Salmonella Outbreak
Washoe County Health District warning not to eat cucumbers distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce due to health risk.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021

Reno, Nevada Sept. 4, 2015 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many states including Nevada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections. Washoe County residents were also affected by this outbreak, announced by public health officials in the Washoe County Health District (WCHD).

According to CDC, as of September 4th, 2015, nationwide, 285 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 27 states since July 3, 2015. Of 285 cases, 53 ill people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California; 54% of ill people are children younger than 18 years.

In Washoe County, three laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported and investigated since August 7. All three were adults and one of them was hospitalized for three days. 

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and trace-back investigations have identified imported cucumbers from Mexico distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections in this outbreak. According to CDC, 58 (73%) of 80 people interviewed reported eating cucumbers in the week before their illness began. In Washoe County, all three cases reported eating cucumbers in the week before their illness began. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency isolated Salmonella from cucumbers collected during a visit to the Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce facility.

On September 4, 2015, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The type of cucumber is often referred to as a “slicer” or “American” cucumber and is dark green in color. Typical length is 7 to 10 inches. Limited Edition cucumbers were distributed in more than 20 states including Nevada. Please check the link for pictures of the affected brands of cucumbers. Domestically produced cucumbers are not believed to be involved in this outbreak.

WCHD health officials strongly advise that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell 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. Throw them out. If you think you are ill after consuming recalled cucumbers, please seek medical care from your healthcare provider. For healthcare providers, if you suspect your patients presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms may be associated with recalled cucumber consumption, it is recommended to order a stool culture.

Salmonella is a bacterium that makes people sick. Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hour after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment. Salmonella Poona is one strain of Salmonella. More information about Salmonella can be found at CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/index.html.

This investigation is ongoing. WCHD public health officials continue assisting Nevada state and CDC for this investigation.

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