San Diego based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled its cucumbers after a salmonella outbreak caused by them killed a 99 year old woman in San Diego and left 285 people across 27 states sick. The decision to recall tainted pole grown cucumbers was taken on Friday.
Half of those sickened by consuming these infected cucumbers were less than 18 years of age.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), these cucumbers grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico were imported and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce between August 1 and September 3.
“The labeling on these cases indicates the product was grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico. These cucumbers were distributed between August 1 – September 3, 2015,” the California Department of Public Health said.
The 22 states to which they were shipped were: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
The company meanwhile said that they have taken the step voluntarily out of caution and that they are working with health care officials to find out if their products are indeed guilty of causing the outbreak.
“The safety and health of the consumers who buy our products have always been the highest priority for us,” Dave Murray, a partner in the company, said in a phone interview. “I bring our produce home to my family, that’s how much I believe in the produce we buy, ship and sell. We’ve invested millions to make sure our food safety systems are effective and up to date.”
The health officials have specifically stated that domestically grown cucumbers are not involved in the outbreak. Salmonella outbreaks in the past have been attributed to a wide range of food products like chicken and chia powder.