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Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Cucumbers Imported From Mexico

Apr 26, 2013 01:18 PM EDT
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Cucumbers imported from Mexico appear to be at the root of Salmonella infections that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickened 73 people in 18 states as of Thursday with a 27 percent hospitalization rate.

A report from the CDC said it’s currently using the PulseNet system, a national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the CDC, to identify cases of illness that may be related to the outbreak.

Affected states include California with 28 cases, Arizona with nine, Minnesota with eight, Texas with six, Illinois with three, and Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Idaho each with two cases. States with just one reported case include Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio.

According to the CDC, the cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culican, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Ariz., were placed on Import Alert on April 24 after a series of epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback investigations as well as a review of shipping records were undergone.

Any further cucumbers from the two firms will be denied admission into the United States unless the suppliers can show they are not contaminated with Salmonella, stated the CDC in an April 25 statement.

The agency assured the public that there is no evidence that contaminated cucumbers are still on the market and that the number of illnesses reported has declined substantially since a peak in early March.

However, because of the time delay between infection and reporting of the illness, the CDC said it may identify more cases as time continues.

In all, 30 of 45 ill individuals interviewed reported eating various types of cucumbers purchased or consumed at multiple locations or restaurants. An additional five interviewees said they may have eaten cucumbers.

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