More than 160 sickened in salmonella outbreak potentially linked to recalled cucumbers

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.

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

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