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New salmonella cases from contaminated cucumbers

Posted at 5:05 AM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 07:05:25-05

Cucumbers sold during the summer are still making people sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 71 new salmonella cases linked to the contaminated cucumbers in the last month.

The vegetable only has a 14-day shelf life, so we asked health officials why cucumbers sold in August are still causing problems.

"To a large extent, this is catch up with disease reporting," said Alicia Cronquist, Foodborne Disease Program Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "It can take a while for people to seek care, get tested and report that to the health department."

The CDC says a total of 838 people in 38 states have gotten sick. Four people died and hundreds went to the hospital with symptoms, such as diarrhea, fevers and cramps.

Now, the CDC recommends you take action in your own kitchen by cleaning surfaces contaminated cucumbers may have touched.

"With something like salmonella -- if the salmonella is on the outside of the produce item, and then it's in your vegetable bin or your fruit bin, even after that particular item is gone, the salmonella could stay in your refrigerator for several weeks," said Cronquist.

California company Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled the cucumbers after the outbreak. The CDC says the investigation is ongoing.