Salmonella Poona infection outbreak is linked to imported cucumbers and has already spread to 39 states across the U.S. The Salmonella Poona outbreak began in 2015, and since then 50 additional persons have become infected by it in 16 states. The peak of the outbreak was August and September of 2015, and although it has since been on the decline, cases still continue to emerge.
In total, there have been 888 cases of Salmonella Poona, contributing to six deaths and 191 hospitalization. The infection has stemmed from imported cucumbers from Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce in Mexico. The company has made two recalls on the cucumbers so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that anyone who has purchased recalled cucumbers should wash and sanitize them properly, along with the reusable grocery bags they came with and refrigerator drawers where the cucumbers have been stored. Restaurants who have received the cucumbers should follow suit by properly washing and sanitizing the cucumbers, along any container in which the cucumbers were stored.
Salmonella infection signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of salmonella can present themselves within 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated products. Common symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps, blood in stool, headache, vomiting, fever, chills, nausea, and diarrhea.
The salmonella illness can typically last between four to seven days, and many patients recover without any specific treatment except staying hydrated and resting. If symptoms become severe, for example, if dehydration occurs due to diarrhea, hospitalization will need to be required to replenish fluids quickly. Other complication of salmonella infection may be the bacteria travelling from the intestines to the blood stream.
Although anyone can become infected with salmonella, children under the age of five, seniors over the age of 65, and persons with weakened immune systems are at highest risk, not only for the illness, but for salmonella complications as well.
Salmonella infection prevention tips
The recalled cucumbers were delivered to the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. If you currently reside in any of these states, be mindful of which cucumbers you are purchasing and always remember to properly wash and sanitize any produce or food item you purchase in order to reduce your risk of illness.
If you own cucumbers from Andrew and Williamson, you can either return them to the place of purchase or simply throw them away.
Other preventative methods of salmonella include:
- Washing your hands
- Washing utensils properly
- Not using the same utensils or cutting boards for different food items – ie. meat and vegetables should not be mixed
- Always washing and sanitizing surface areas with hot soapy water
- Storing food at proper temperatures
- Cooking food at proper temperatures
By following these prevention tips, you can better lower your risk of salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.
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