Hundreds Sickened, Likely by Tainted Cucumbers

Cucumbers contaminated with salmonella  are the suspected cause of 285 illnesses in 27 states. As a result, Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce (“A&W”) of San Diego, California is voluntarily recalling all cucumbers sold under its Limited Edition® label from August 1 through September 3, 2015.


Limited Edition® cucumbers were produced in Baja, California and distributed in the states of 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. They  reached customers through retail, food service companies, wholesalers, and brokers. Illnesses have occurred in all 27 of these states.


Did this outbreak lead to any deaths, and, if so, how many?  What about hospitalizations?  The exact answers are difficult to come by. The recall notice issued by  the company and posted by the FDA made no mention of either. The A & W answering service informed me that no deaths or hospitalizations had been reported to the company.  However, Food Safety News says that California reported one death, and a TV news show reported 2 deaths. says 53 hospitalizations and 1 death occurred.  Shelf Life Advice will keep you informed as these statistics are confirmed or revised.


Where might victims have run into these tainted cucumbers?  According to, they've been sold in these  stores: Walmart, Subway, and HEB.  They've also been used in dishes served at these national chain restaurants: Red Lobster, In-N-Out, and Olive Garden.  No doubt, other businesses have also handled these cucumbers.


uThe same Food Safety News post discussed the case of a patient who was hospitalized for almost a week and who has become the first person to file a lawsuit against the San Diego-based produce company  that imported and distributed the Limited Edition® cucumbers from Mexico.  This patient tested positive for the cucumber-related outbreak strain Salmonella Poona.


The company has issued a voluntary recall of the Limited Edition® cucumbers and stopped all harvesting and packing of cucumbers with the potential to be linked to this outbreak until further information is known. A&W has also contacted all customers who may have received this product.


Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.



These cucumbers are shipped in a black, green, yellow, and craft colored carton which reads “Limited Edition Pole Grown Cucumbers.” This variety is often referred to as a “Slicer” or “American” cucumber. It has a dark green color. It typically has a length of 7 to 10 inches and a diameter of 1.75 to 2.5 inches. In retail, it is typically sold in a bulk display without any individual packaging or plastic wrapping. In restaurants, it is typically served in a salad.


Consumers who have bought Limited Edition® cucumbers should not consume them.  Instead, they should be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund or discard them.


Further questions about this recall can be directed to the company via email at or by phone: (844) 483-3864.


Source(s): "Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce Recalls Limited Edition Brand® Cucumbers Because of Possible Health Risk" "First Suit Filed in Outbreak Linked to Salmonella-Tainted Cucumbers" - .Ve76q3iyRaM "The cucumbers are the source of a Salmonella outbreak across 27 states."


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