The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just announced its findings that a massive outbreak of Salmonella Newport in 2014, beginning in May and running through the end of September, has been linked to cucumbers – with at least one Maryland manufacturer in the Delmarva region responsible for many of the illnesses. The cluster of Salmonella Newport, with XbaI PFGE pattern JJPX01.0061, was detected in August of 2014, following the huge July spike in illness onset (nearly two-thirds of all victims became ill in July and August). This Salmonella Newport Cucumber Outbreak, linked to the Maryland cucumbers, hospitalized approximately 1 in 3 of the victims with confirmed cases of salmonellosis. The 275 victims were identified in 29 states and the District of Columbia, making it one of the most wide-spread outbreaks in 2014. Two-thirds of the victims were females, and the median age of the victims was 42 years.

Not all cases were traced to the same producer, but many of the illnesses were linked to the Delmarva region on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. A review of one of the suspect farms indicated that 120 days prior to harvest of the cucumbers, poultry litter had been applied. None of that product was available for testing following the outbreak, and as the environmental and epidemiological testing at the farm was conducted several months post-harvest, no salmonella positives were identified.

For more information on this or other Salmonella outbreaks, call 1-888-335-4901 or 713-306-3880.