Just yesterday, on January 26, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the number of Salmonella Poona victims to 888, up from the November count of 838. One new state was added to the previous 38, bringing the total number of states impacted by the Mexican Cucumber Salmonella Poona Outbreak to 39.
So far local authorities in each state, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)and the CDC, have successfully traced the origin of the Mexican Cucumber Salmonella Poona Outbreak to traditional “American” or “slicer” cucumbers that were imported from Baja Mexico by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce (“A & W”). The cucumbers are believed tphve ben harvested at Rancho Don Juanito de R.L. de C.V. in Baja, Mexico. The victims reside in Alabama (1), Alaska (19), Arizona (134), Arkansas (13), California (241), Colorado (21), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (26), Illinois (11), Indiana (5), Iowa (7), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (5), Maryland (1), Minnesota (43), Missouri (15), Montana (16), Nebraska (8), Nevada (17), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (35), New York (6), North Dakota (8), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (13), Oregon (23), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (10), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (1), Texas (52), Utah (62), Virginia (1), Washington (26), Wisconsin (46), and Wyoming (7).
According to the CDC, as of January 26, 2016, 888 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have been reported from 39 states. So far, over one-quarter f the victims have required hospitalization, and six have died, including a resident of Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas and three in California. Ron Simon & Associates represents a number of the victims, including families of victims who died.
The trace-back investigation that led investigators to A & W, a California company headquartered in San Diego, has been supported by direct epidemiological evidence. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency discovered the outbreak strain of Salmonella Poona at an A & W production facility during an inspection. Likewise, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services have each tested A & W cucumbers and found them to carry outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona.
A & W was apprised of the findings of local and state health investigators on September 3, 2015, when the FDA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provided A & W with its findings. The meeting prompted a recall by A & W of all Limited Edition® label cucumbers it shipped between August 1, 2015 and September 3, 2015. The A & W recall was followed by a cessation of its operations and various other recalls by vendors who further distributed the Limited Edition® label cucumbers.
The Limited Edition® label cucumbers are a dark green color, have an average length of between 7 and 10 inches, and have an average diameter of between 1.75 and 2.5 inches. They are traditionally sold in bulk display units without any without any individualized packaging. In addition, they are used in delis and restaurants widely in such a manner that the customers would never know they were eating Limited Edition® label cucumbers.
The FDA has issued an Import Alert regarding all cucumbers from the Rancho Don Juanito de R.L. de C.V. located in Baja, Mexico. Rancho Don Juanito de R.L. de C.V. will have to demonstrate that it has identified the possible source(s) of the Salmonella contamination and addressed the risk of future contamination before it can seek removal of the Import Alert.
For more information on the Mexican Cucumber Salmonella Poona Outbreak, or to speak to a food poisoning lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.