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RIDOH: RI Salmonella Cases Under Investigation, Cucumbers Recalled

[CREDIT: FDA] A 3-D illustration of Salmonella Bacteria. The RI Department of Health (RIDOH) reports a Salmonella cucumber recall and reports of RI Salmonella cases resulting from different strains under investigation.

[CREDIT: FDA] A 3-D illustration of Salmonella Bacteria. The RI Department of Health (RIDOH) reports a Salmonella cucumber recall and reports of RI Salmonella cases resulting from different strains under investigation.
[CREDIT: FDA] A 3-D illustration of Salmonella Bacteria. The RI Department of Health (RIDOH) reports a Salmonella cucumber recall and reports of RI Salmonella cases resulting from different strains under investigation.
WARWICK, RI — The RI Department of Health warns of a multi-state Salmonella cucumber recall and two groups of RI Salmonella cases under investigation, not yet tied to a specific source.

Fresh Start Produce Salmonella Cucumber recall

First, the health department alerted residents that Fresh Start Produce Sales is recalling whole cucumbers due to the potential for contamination with Salmonella, although none were shipped to Rhode Island and no Salmonella cases have been tied to that produce. Nonetheless, RIDOH warns Rhode Islanders to check in case they have the recalled cucumbers.

The recalled cucumbers were shipped in bulk cartons from May 17 through May 21 to retail distribution centers, wholesalers, and food service distributors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. This recall was a result of a positive salmonella sample that was collected and tested by state partners in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in response to a Salmonella Africana outbreak.

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Africana infections potentially linked to cucumbers. Based on epidemiological information collected by CDC for the Salmonella Africana investigation [lnks.gd] [health.us2.list-manage.com], as of June 4, 162 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Africana have been reported from 25 states. Of the 65 people interviewed, 47 (72%) reported eating cucumbers. There have been four illnesses in Rhode Island associated with this outbreak.

RIDOH’s Center for Food Protection and the State Health Laboratories collected and tested cucumbers in response to the Rhode Island illnesses. All samples have tested negative for Salmonella.

Federal Officials Investigate Second Salmonella Outbreak

CDC and FDA are also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections, with 158 illnesses in 23 states, including three in Rhode Island. This outbreak and the first share several similarities, including where and when illnesses occurred and the demographics of ill people, according to RIDOH.

Investigators are working to determine whether the two outbreaks could be linked to the same food vehicle. Information will be provided on the source of the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak as it becomes available.

The investigations are ongoing to determine the source(s) of contamination and whether these or other products are linked to illnesses. Further testing is underway to determine if the strain of Salmonella from the cucumber sample is the same strain that is making people sick.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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