FDA Ups Risk Level in Cucumber Recall

By: David Donovan | Published: Jun 17, 2024

A range of recalled cucumbers have been assigned a Class I risk level by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On May 23, whole Cucumbers produced by Fresh Start Produce Sales were recalled due to salmonella contamination. 

Class I

The recall has now been elevated to the highest risk level, Class I, which is issued when there is a “reasonable probability” that a product’s use or exposure could “cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

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FDA Building 66 houses the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The FDA campus is located at 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993.

Flickr user The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The affected cucumbers were distributed from May 17 to May 21. They are identified by the lot number BG0813804 and have an expiration date of May 27. 

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Salmonella Risk

After a product sample tested positive for the bacteria, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture discovered the contamination with salmonella, one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States.

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Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella Typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells

U.S. federal government

The recalled cucumbers are dark green in variety, roughly 1.5 to 2 inches in width, and 5 to 9 inches long. 

FDA Notice

In its independent recall notice, the FDA explained: “Mini cucumbers and English cucumbers are not included in this recall.”

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An FDA microbiologist tests seafood samples for the presence of Salmonella.

Flickr user The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Just four states are impacted by the Class I risk characterization: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and New Jersey. 

State Recalls

The product was also shipped to Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to the FDA’s initial announcement.

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Cucumbers stacked on top of each other in different orientations

Unsplash user Harshal S. Hirve

In a statement given on June 12, the organization said: “We take food safety seriously and source from growers who share that commitment. We are pleased that the Fresh Start cucumber samples are not linked to the current salmonella outbreaks.”

Fresh Start Statement

The statement continued: “However, we are continuing our internal investigation into why a non-outbreak strain of salmonella was found in product from one supplier and how to prevent it in the future. The recalled product is beyond shelf life and is no longer available for sale in stores.”

Cucumbers close up stacked on top of each other

Unsplash user Eric Prouzet

Any individual who might have bought the item is encouraged not to consume it and “should destroy and discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.”

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Food Poisoning

One of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States, salmonella infects more than 1 million people annually, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Single cucumber on a blue background

Unsplash user charlesdeluvio

Normal side effects include stomach cramping, diarrhea, migraines, and fever, which can show up within a window of six hours to six days following exposure. 

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Those in Danger

These infections are unpleasant, but they tend to be mild and most people recover in a few days.

Old man holds baby up in the air

Unsplash user Johnny Cohen

While most contaminations don’t represent a huge risk, children under a year old, more than 65 years of age, and those with weakened immune systems can become seriously sick.

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Extreme Cases

In uncommon occurrences, salmonella can enter the bloodstream, prompting severe conditions — like blood vessel contaminations, endocarditis, and arthritis — that require medical intervention.

person lying on bed and another person standing as they have a catheter in their arm.

Unsplash user Olga Kononenko

So far 68 people have been hospitalized with salmonella infections following the suspected outbreak from the contaminated cucumbers

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CDC Advice

In regard to the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidelines for those concerned about the affected cucumbers.

CDC members posing for a picture in front of the CDC building

X user CDCgov

According to them: “Wash items and surfaces that may have touched the recalled cucumbers using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.”

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FDA Recalls

This comes as several other recalls have been issued of late including a voluntary issue for TryBrewed Coffee Concentrate.

FDA senior officials speaking at a conference with mics in front of them.

X user US_FDA

The 3,852 bottles in 321 cases were distributed throughout the U.S. via Amazon as they contained “no ingredient statement and no nutrition label.”

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Multistate Outbreak

The current outbreak taking place across multiple states which is under investigation is known as salmonella Africana.

FDA Life Sciences Laboratory I in Building 64, which houses the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Flickr user The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

As of June 12, the CDC has reported that 196 people have been infected across 28 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The ongoing concern over salmonella contamination has now reached a new level with the increase in risk level.

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