The Food and Drug Administration has blocked cucumber imports from a Mexican company after the vegetables sickened 73 people in 18 states, including 28 in California. The cukes have tested positive for Salmonella Saintpaul, the Associated Press reports. Twenty-seven people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal agency placed the restrictions against Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico. The United States won't accept any more imports unless the company can show proof that the cucumbers are nasty bacteria-free.
The CDC assures that "Currently, there is no evidence that contaminated cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse are still on the market." However, some people may not have gotten sick yet, due to the lag time between consumption and when symptoms appear. It also takes an average of two to three weeks from time of illness for the infection to be reported to authorities, the CDC says.
Arizona has had the second most verified infections, with nine. Illness onset dates range from January 12, 2013 to April 6, 2013. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 80 years, with a median age of 23 years.
The same rare strain, Salmonella Saintpaul, sickened at least 1,329 people in 43 states in 2008 -- one of the largest Salmonella outbreaks in U.S. history. The culprit that time was jalapeno peppers imported from Mexico. It also was responsible for 235 illnesses in 14 states from alfalfa sprouts in 2009.
The cucumbers were distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Ariz., which also will not be able to sell any cukes until it can show through testing that they are safe.
Seriously, nuke those cukes.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, and follow Samantha Bonar at @samanthabonar.