Thomas Produce Company of Boca Raton, FL is recalling 174 bulk-packed containers of cucumbers because they may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections especially in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Others infected with Salmonella may experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
The recalled cucumbers were sold to distributors in Florida and Georgia on Dec. 15 and 16, 2015. All distributors that received this product have been notified.
The fresh, whole, green cucumbers were sold in 166 cardboard bushel boxes (1 1/9 bushel size) with one of the following lot numbers ink-jet printed on the side: 1554311JDNK, 1554311HDNK, and 15143115DNK. These cucumbers were also distributed in 8 bulk cardboard bins(4’x4′ size) tagged with codes 15NKJD-1554311-D, 15NKHD-1554311-D, and 15NK5D-1514311-D.
No illnesses have yet been associated this recall.
The recall was issued after a sample of Thomas Produce Cucumbers taken by FDA tested positive for Salmonella . The company has elected to recall all lots of cucumbers that were packed on the same day. The company has ceased production and distribution of the affected lots of cucumbers as the FDA and the company continue their investigation.
Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to not consume them.
Prior Cucumber Outbreaks:
On September 4, 2015 the CDC announced an outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to consumption of cucumbers grown in Mexico and imported by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. As of October 14 there were 838 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona. Patients resided in 36 states. Eleven illness clusters were identified in 7 states. In all of these clusters, interviews found that cucumbers were a food item eaten in common by ill people. The first onset of illness was July 3, 2015. One hundred fifty seven people were hospitalized and there were four deaths. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency isolated Salmonella from cucumbers collected during a visit to the Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce facility. On September 4, 2015 Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from August 1, 2015 to September 21, 2015.
In 2014 a Salmonella Newport outbreak was determined through surveillance of PulseNet, a national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease. A total of 275 cases were reported from 29 states and the District of Columbia. Illness onset dates ranged from May 25 to September 29, 2014. Thirty four percent (48 of 141) were hospitalized; one death was reported in an elderly man with bacteremia. Sixty-two percent (49 of 79) of respondents reported eating cucumbers in the week before becoming ill. Officials in Maryland, Delaware and New York worked with the FDA and USDA to conduct an informational traceback from retail establishments to identify a point of distribution for produce items. Preliminary traceback led to common grower in Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the Delmarva region. Officials collected 48 environmental samples from areas where cucumbers were grown, harvested and packed. No samples yielded Salmonella although sampling was performed several months after harvest.
In October 2013 Colorado public health officials investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that occurred among customers of three Denver area Jimmy John’s restaurants. A total of 8 people became sick. Meal dates ranged between October 5 and October 9. Produce was suspected as the source of the outbreak. Cucumbers were statistically associated with illness.
On April 25, 2013 the CDC reported that a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul was associated with illnesses in 73 persons residing in 18 states. At the close of the investigation on June 20, 2013 the number of outbreak associated cases had risen to 84. Among persons for whom information was available, illness onset dates ranged from January 12, 2013 to April 28, 2013. Ill persons ranged in age from less than 1 year to 89 years. Among 60 persons with available information, 17 (28%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. On April 24, 2013 the FDA placed Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacan, Mexico on Import Alert. The cucumbers were distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona.© Food Safety News