285 Sick with 1 Death Linked to Mexican Grown Cucumbers

Nine Washington residents are among nearly 300 people who have been sickened in 27 states with Salmonella bacteria likely linked to cucumbers from Mexico, shipped by a California distributor. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ongoing investigation is tracking 285 salmonellosis cases and one death caused by the strain of bacteria known as Salmonella Poona.

The Washington Department of Health reports the nine state residents sickened in the outbreak are from Clark (2 cases), King (2); Kitsap (1); Pierce (2); Thurston (1); and Yakima (1). The fatal case was not a Washington resident and none of the state’s cases were hospitalized. State health officials are working with federal and local partners on the disease investigation.

The California Department of Public Health has identified the commercial produce supplier that shipped the products as Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. The San Diego firm has issued a recall. The cucumbers have been sent to some Washington retailers and the investigation is working to identify them. The public, retailers, and food establishments are advised not to eat, sell, or serve these products. If the source of cucumbers is in doubt, they should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase.

Salmonellosis is the illness caused by infection with Salmonella bacteria. Proper food preparation, handling, and cooking are the keys to preventing many foodborne illnesses, including salmonellosis. There are 600 to 800 cases of salmonellosis reported in Washington annually.