Food Safety Magazine

News | April 25, 2013

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul Infections Linked to Imported Cucumbers

By Staff

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul, by State
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul infections linked to imported cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. In PulseNet, the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC, DNA "fingerprints" of Salmonella bacteria are obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak.

A total of 73 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul have been reported from 18 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (9), California (28), Colorado (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (8), Nevada (1), New Mexic0 (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), South Dakota (2), Texas (6), Virginia (2), and Wisconsin (2).

Among persons for whom information was available, illness onset dates range from January 12, 2013 to April 6, 2013. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 80 years, with a median age of 23 years. Sixty percent of ill persons are female. Among 51 persons with available information, 14 (27%) ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

This outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of persons who became ill each day. This chart is called an epidemic curve or epi curve. Illnesses that occurred after March 23, 2013 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Please see the Salmonella Outbreak Investigations: Timeline for Reporting Cases for more details.

More information from CDC.