Salmonella outbreak may be linked to recalled cucumbers, CDC says

salmonella
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows cucumbers recalled for salmonella.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration via AP

By JONEL ALECCIA AP Health Writer

Cucumbers contaminated with salmonella bacteria may have sickened and hospitalized dozens of people in at least 25 states, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

Testing detected salmonella in a cucumber distributed by Fresh Start Produce, of Delray Beach, Florida, which last week recalledwhole cucumbers shipped to certain states from May 17 to May 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further testing is underway to see if that strain of salmonella is causing the outbreak. The produce should no longer be available in stores.

The CDC received reports of 162 people sickened with salmonella potentially tied to the cucumbers in 25 states and Washington, D.C., between March 11 and May 16. At least 54 people were hospitalized, the agency said. No deaths were reported.

Consumers should not eat recalled cucumbers. People who bought cucumbers recently should check with the store where they purchased them to see if they’re part of the recall. Wash items and surfaces that may have been in contact with the produce using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher.

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also are investigating an outbreak of a second type of salmonella that has sickened at least 158 people in nearly two dozen states to see whether it’s connected to the same food. The outbreaks share several similarities, the agencies said.

Salmonella can cause symptoms that begin six hours to six days after ingesting the bacteria and include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Most people recover without treatment within a week, but young children, people older than 65 and those with weakened immune systems can become seriously ill.