Here’s What to Know About the Cucumber Recall

3 minute read
Updated: | Originally published:

Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc. is recalling whole cucumbers shipped to 14 states from May 17 through May 21 because they may have been contaminated with salmonella.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice from the Florida-based company Saturday. The company said in the press release that the recalled cucumbers were shipped in bulk cartons to retail distribution centers, wholesalers, and food service distributions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had received reports of 162 people who had become sick with salmonella, potentially connected to the recalled cucumbers, in 25 states and Washington, D.C., between March 11 and May 16. Of those 162 people, at least 54 were hospitalized, the CDC said. No deaths were reported.

The CDC and FDA are also investigating another salmonella outbreak that has affected at least 158 people in 23 states to see if it’s tied to the same food. The two outbreaks share some similarities, such as where and when the illnesses occurred, the CDC said.

The recalled cucumbers are dark green, with a diameter of about 1.5 to 2 inches and a length of about 5 to 9 inches, according to Fresh Start Produce Sales. Neither mini cucumbers nor English cucumbers are included in the recall.

“The recall was initiated after the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture informed the company that a product sample tested positive for the bacteria,” Fresh Start Produce Sales said in the press release from the weekend. “The FDA is conducting whole genome sequencing to determine if this sample is related to an ongoing Salmonella outbreak investigation.”

Read More: You’re Not Imagining It: Food Recalls Are Getting More Common. Here’s Why

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause serious and even fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and individuals with weakened immune systems, according to the company. Healthy people infected with the bacteria can develop fevers, diarrhea—which could be bloody—nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

In rare situations, salmonella can enter the bloodstream and lead to more severe illnesses, such as infected aneurysms, endocarditis, and arthritis, according to Fresh Start Produce Sales.

The company said that it’s unlikely that the recalled cucumbers are in the marketplace. Even still, the company advised anyone with the recalled cucumbers not to eat it but to destroy it, throw it away, or return it to the place where they purchased it for a refund. The company also suggested that people check with their retailer to find out whether the recalled cucumbers were sold there.

Fresh Start Produces Sales has already notified customers who received the recalled cucumbers directly from the company and asked them to remove it from their shelves. 

Customers with questions about the recall can contact Fresh Start Produce Sales at 1-888-364-2993.

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