Imported cucumbers are the culprit behind a rash of Salmonella Poona infections that have sickened at least 12 Minnesotans, the state Department of Health announced Friday.
At least 10 of the reported cases were exposed to contaminated cucumbers at Red Lobster locations throughout the state. Those affected ranged in age from 8 to 79 and began showing symptoms in mid-August. Six people were hospitalized, but all are recovering.
The multistate outbreak has been linked to “slicer” or American cucumbers supplied by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, based in San Diego, Calif. The dark green cucumbers, which are typically 7 to 10 inches long and grown in Mexico, were recalled from shelves.
Locally grown cucumbers, including in Minnesota and other parts of the U.S., English and mini-cucumbers are not part of the recall.
Red Lobster pulled cucumbers from its restaurants Friday, although the majority of national cases were not traced back to the seafood chain. Confirmed cases in other states were linked to grocery stores and other retailers.
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps and fever. Those affected usually develop symptoms within 12 to 72 hours of exposure, but can begin up to a week after contamination.