PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) - Health officials on Friday said a Pima County woman's death has been linked to the salmonella outbreak, which was traced to cucumbers.
Aaron Pacheco, a spokesman for the Pima County Health Department, said the person who died was an older female who had serious underlying health conditions. She was a resident of an assisted living facility.
There have been 16 cases of salmonella poona in Pima County. The multi-state outbreak was traced to cucumbers grown in Mexico and distributed by California-based companies. Three people have now died in this outbreak.
Of the 16 cases in Pima County, six people have been hospitalized.
"This circumstance is a saddening reminder that illnesses that often don't cause a high level of harm to most people can have a devastating effect on those in our community that are most medically vulnerable," said Dr. Francisco Garcia, the director of the county health department.
The cucumbers, which were recalled earlier this month, were sold under the Limited Edition brand name and were voluntarily recalled by the producer.
The health department offered these reminders for the public and food business owners:
• If consumers or businesses are not sure if their cucumbers were recalled, they should ask the place of purchase or the supplier. When in doubt, do not eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.
• Grocery operators, restaurant management and the public can receive information concerning recalls when they are issued by signing up for recall alerts by visiting www.fda.gov/Food
• People who prepare food in nursing homes, assisted living, health and childcare settings, or other venues where medically vulnerable individuals should take extra precautions to ensure that they are not using recalled cucumbers.
• All restaurants handlers should ensure that appropriate food safety rules and regulations are followed during every step of food preparation and serving.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. People concerned about their symptoms should see their health care provider.