CDC links more than 50 hospitalizations to salmonella outbreak linked to cucumber consumption

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating whether cucumbers are responsible for a national salmonella outbreak that has caused 54 hospitalizations.

The agency specified Wednesday in a notice published on its website that cucumbers contaminated with salmonella may be responsible for 162 diseases that make up the outbreak, according to its data. No deaths have been reported so far.

The majority of those sick are non-Hispanic white women, according to CDC data.

The cucumber producer under investigation mentioned in a statement that the product was no longer available for purchase, and that cucumbers now sold in grocery stores were not part of a recall announced Monday.

“We prioritize consumer safety and eagerly await the results of the FDA investigation into the cause of the outbreak,” Florida-based Fresh Start Produce explained. “While we await test results for our recalled product, we are in ongoing communication with health authorities.”

Testing identified salmonella in a cucumber collected as part of the investigation, which led to Monday's recall. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more tests are being done to determine if it is the same strain that caused the disease.

The potentially affected cucumbers were sold in 14 states by Fresh Start, but the FDA noted that wholesalers may have shipped them elsewhere. Illnesses related to the outbreak have been reported in a total of 25 states and the District of Columbia.

The FDA and CDC are also investigating an outbreak of salmonella braenderup infections, with 158 patients in 23 states, which the agencies say could be related to the first.

“The two outbreaks share several similarities, such as where and when the illnesses occurred and the demographics of the sick people,” the FDA stated.