Cucumber recall: Calif. company trying to prevent salmonella outbreak

Food supplier Andrew and Williamson has announced a voluntary recall of its cucumber produce.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo/File
Fresh-picked tomatoes, cucumbers and other summer garden vegetables are displayed for sale at a farmers market in Falls Church, Va., Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.

The food company Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce is voluntarily recalling cucumbers, labeled under the "Limited Edition" brand, from grocery-store shelves, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 285 cases of salmonella, in connection with the cucumbers, have been reported to date in 27 states. This includes one death in the state of California.

The CDC also says the cucumbers were distributed in the following states: 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 FDA announcement said the cucumbers in question were sold in stores between August 1 and September 3, 2015.

Whole Foods, a popular grocery-store chain on both the East and West coasts, has said that they did not carry the brand of cucumbers affected, ABC News states. However, they joined seafood restaurant Red Lobster in disposing of the cucumbers that they purchased during the month of August as a precautionary measure.

In a statement from the company website, Fred Williamson, CEO of Andrew and Williamson, commented, “Andrew and Williamson is a family business and the safety and welfare of consumers is part of every business decision we make.”

He went on to add, “At A&W, we live food safety 24/7. It is ingrained in our culture. To us, food safety is so much more than an audit, we understand it is a process of continuous improvement. If we have a problem, we are going to find it and we are going to fix it.”

The cucumbers were grown in Mexico. State health and agriculture authorities are currently testing the cucumbers that have been recalled from both grocery stores and restaurants so far for the presence of salmonella. The company has asked consumers to return any purchased cucumbers for a full refund or exchange.

This is not the first time cucumbers have been recalled from grocery stores. In 2011, L&M companies from North Carolina voluntarily recalled one lot of cucumbers because of the same concern. Nor have recalls been limited to the United States. In 2013, Food Quality News reported that trace amounts of horse meat was found in some beef patties sold in grocery stores, which prompted the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to announce a recall. 

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