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Feds investigate possible link between whole cucumbers, salmonella outbreak

By Mike Heuer
The FDA has recalled Florida-grown whole cucumbers after discovering salmonella in a sample and is testing the strain to see if it's the same that has made 162 ill and hospitalized 54. File Photo by Georgia Licovski/EPA-EFE
The FDA has recalled Florida-grown whole cucumbers after discovering salmonella in a sample and is testing the strain to see if it's the same that has made 162 ill and hospitalized 54. File Photo by Georgia Licovski/EPA-EFE

June 5 (UPI) -- Some Florida-grown whole cucumbers might have triggered a recent salmonella outbreak that caused 162 people to fall ill and 54 to be hospitalized.

No fatalities have been reported.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced an active investigation of whole cucumbers after one tested positive for salmonella.

The Food and Drug Administration is testing the salmonella strain found in the questionable cucumber to see if it's the same strain that is making people sick and if other cucumbers are affected.

Salmonella is a microscopic organism that can make healthy people experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Salmonella also can enter the bloodstream and cause an arterial infection, endocarditis, arthritis and other severe illnesses.

Distributor Fresh Start Produce on Friday recalled the Florida-grown whole cucumbers sold in 14 states.

Those states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The cucumbers were shipped in bulk cartons from May 17 through May 21, but none of the suspect whole cucumbers remain on store shelves, according to the CDC.

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The recalled whole cucumbers measure between 5 and 9 inches in length and are 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.

The recall does not apply to English cucumbers or mini cucumbers.

Consumers with questions about the cucumber recall can contact Fresh Start Produce Sales by calling 888-364-2993 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

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