Here's an excuse to avoid eating a salad for lunch: Cucumbers sold by a popular restaurant and grocery store distributor have been recalled for salmonella contamination. According to the Food Poison Journal, authorities believe that cucumbers grown in Mexico sold by San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce are the source of a Salmonella outbreak in 27 states.
Sold under the Limited Edition label, the cucumbers are available in popular grocery stores like Whole Foods, Walmart, HEB, and Safeway. They are also used in dishes served at national chains like Red Lobster. The recall applies to all cucumbers sold between August 1 and September 3.
Food Safety News writes that so far, 285 people have reported falling ill. Of that 53 have been hospitalized and one person has passed away. The distributor is being sued by a woman who fell ill after eating a salad with the contaminated cucumbers at a Red Lobster, notes SI Live. For now, all harvesting and packaging of the suspected cucumbers has been halted.
This isn't the first multi-state Salmonella outbreak this year. In May, an outbreak across nine states was linked to raw tuna used in sushi sold in grocery stores and at a number of restaurants. Unfortunately, 53 people fell ill and 10 were hospitalized.
Update, 9/8/15; 12:01 p.m.: Whole Foods released a statement regarding the affected cucumbers, and says it never purchased the cucumbers and that none of the company's stores are selling cucumbers from the affected purveyor.
Update 9/8/15; 12:52 p.m.: Red Lobster has released a statement:
Red Lobster is committed to the safety and well-being of our guests. Out of an abundance of caution, we removed all cucumbers from our restaurants and discontinued their use prior to the opening of business on Friday, September 4. A&W supplied cucumbers to fewer than one-third of Red Lobster's 705 restaurants, and cucumbers were only served on one menu item in a one-ounce portion. We fully supported A& W's decision to initiate a voluntary recall of their cucumbers at all of the restaurants, retailers and grocery stores they supplied. We also respect the FDA and CDC's findings on this issue.