( File photo )

The Public Health Agency of Canada has increased the number of salmonella infections related to English cucumbers purchased in Western Canada this summer.

In a Nov. 2 update, the agency increased the cases in Canada by five, to 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Infantis. The cases were reported in British Columbia (42), Alberta (5), and one each in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. The person from Quebec reported traveling to British Columbia before being ill.

Many of the individuals reported eating English cucumbers, but more information is needed to determine the possible causes of contamination and the outbreak appears to be ongoing, according to the Nov. 2 update.

No recalls have been issued in Canada or Washington state, where six people also contacted salmonella. The Washington State Department of Health on Oct. 19 reported its investigation focused on English cucumbers sold in packs of three from Costco; five people in Washington reported eating the cucumbers. The last reported illness there was Sept 15. The state agency has not updated the original report on the outbreak.

In Canada, the cases were reported between mid-June and early October. Ten people were hospitalized.

“If contaminated food products are identified, (the Canadian Food Inspection Agency) will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required,” according to the Public Health Agency of Canada release. “Currently there are no Food Recall Warnings associated with this outbreak.”

Submitted by Dr Lawrence J Marais on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 16:38

The consumers should take precautions before eating fresh fruit and vegetables and not take it for granted that they are not contaminanted with bacteria . Produce should be washed thoroughly in a saline solution and left to soak for st least 10 minutes, this will be sufficient to lyse any
bacterial contaminants . We can I assume that the produce we purchase is hygienically
sound. Perhaps this procedure should be added to the labels of all produce.

Submitted by - on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 01:47

What is the origin of the cucumbers?