Idaho health officials warn of Salmonella illnesses linked by federal investigators to contaminated cucumbers

Eight Idaho residents with salmonellosis apparently were sickened by contaminated cucumbers, the Idaho Division of Public Health said Friday.

The affected Idahoans range in age from 2-82 and became ill between Aug. 3rd and Aug. 17th. One was hospitalized but has recovered. These cases appear to be part of a larger national outbreak linked to contaminated cucumbers being recalled. In addition, six other cases, not yet confirmed to be linked to the outbreak, are being investigated by Idaho public health districts. Since early July, 285 people in 27 states have been linked nationwide to this outbreak.

According to the California Department of Public Health, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego has voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The type of cucumber is often referred to as a “slicer” or “American” cucumber and is dark green. They were distributed to Idaho, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, and several other states. 

Consumers who have purchased cucumbers from Aug. 1st onward and are concerned they may have purchased possibly contaminated cucumbers should not eat them; they may contact the store or market they purchased the cucumbers at to determine if they are included in the recall. The investigation is ongoing in Idaho and nationally.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5 to 7 days, but some cases may require hospitalization. Invasive infections (e.g., blood stream infections, meningitis) occasionally occur. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead to death if not treated properly, particularly for the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

“We don’t know yet how widely these cucumbers were distributed in Idaho, so we want to make sure everyone is aware of the possible contamination,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho Public Health medical director. “If anyone has eaten cucumbers and suspects they may have Salmonella, they should seek medical attention immediately.”

More information on Salmonella and how to prevent it is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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