SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 99-year-old San Diego woman died last month of salmonella poisoning, part of a multi-state outbreak linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico, county and state health officials reported Friday.
The woman, whose name was not released, was one of 16 San Diego County residents who have been sickened in the outbreak, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.
The California Department of Public Health reported that a total of 285 people in 27 states have so far been infected with a type of the disease called "Poona," with 51 of those cases reported in California.
The agency tied the outbreak to cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego.
The produce distributor issued a voluntary recall of "Limited Edition" brand pole-grown cucumbers. The labeling on the affected cases indicates the product was grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico, and distributed between Aug. 1 and Thursday.
According to the CDPH, it is unlikely that cucumbers in retail grocery stores will have any identifying brand information. The agency recommends consumers check with their grocer to determine if the cucumbers they purchased are affected by the recall.
"When in doubt, throw it out," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. "Anyone with salmonella symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping should seek medical attention."
Domestically produced cucumbers are not believed to be involved in the outbreak, according to the CDPH.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea which may be bloody, according to state health officials.
Most infected people recover within a week, but some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for more severe illness.
CDPH recommends consumers experiencing any ill effects after consuming cucumbers should consult their health care provider.