Salmonella outbreak tied to cucumbers contained in AZ

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An outbreak of salmonella linked to cucumbers grown in Mexico has been contained in Arizona following a voluntary recall by the distributor, health officials say.

Andrew and Williamson has recalled all cucumbers under its Limited Edition label sold between Aug. 1 and Sep. 3 because of concerns about salmonella contamination. The cucumbers originated from Rancho Don Juanito farm in Mexico.

No cucumbers grown in Arizona or the U.S. are linked to the outbreak.

In Arizona, there have been 66 reported cases of salmonella as of Wednesday, said Jessica Rigler, the bureau chief for epidemiology and disease control for the Arizona Department of Health Services. The last case was reported on Aug. 26.

As of Tuesday, there have been 341 cases of salmonella reported in 30 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two deaths, one each in California and Texas, have been reported.

More than half of the people affected were under the age of 18, the CDC said.

Rigler said that the cases were linked by the DNA fingerprint in the salmonella. When the state Department of Health Services found multiple cases had the same DNA, it was considered an outbreak. The department conducted interviews with the people affected to get an idea of what food they ate and where. Their lab tested cucumbers from different restaurants and grocery stores and confirmed the presence of salmonella.

The Department of Health Services is continuing trace-back activities to find all sources of the outbreak.

“In general … when in doubt, throw it out,” Rigler said. Salmonella can also be avoided by either washing raw produce before preparing or eating it, or cooking it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, Rigler said.

Dr. Francisco Garcia, director and chief medical officer of the Pima County Health Department, said that salmonella can be especially dangerous for the elderly and those who have other illnesses or a suppressed immune system.

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