FDA Sets Cucumber Recall at Highest Level Over Salmonella Concerns: Details Here

Fresh Start Produce Sales is trying to get the cucumbers removed from shelves and customers notified.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jun. 17 2024, Updated 10:08 a.m. ET

Closeup of pile of cucumbers
Source: iStock

UPDATE, June 17, 2024, 10:00 a.m. ET: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its cucumber recall to a Class I risk, per Newsweek, indicating "reasonable probability" that exposure to contaminated cucumbers could "cause serious adverse health consequences or death."

Shoppers across 14 states need to be on the lookout, per the initial recall filing. The agency issued a recall on the products over fears that they are behind a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people.

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The company responsible for shipping the vegetables to retailers also issued a notice about the cucumber recall, warning grocery stores and customers alike to check their produce. Here's everything you need to know about the recall, including what you should do if you suspect you have some of the impacted cucumbers.

Washing a cucumber
Source: Getty Images
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Cucumbers have been recalled since May 2024 due to possible salmonella contamination.

Shoppers in West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama will need to double-check their produce after the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says a sample of cucumbers from Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc. tested positive for salmonella, according to the FDA.

The FDA goes on to say that cucumbers in question are unmarked, don't list a brand name, and include those shipped between May 17 and May 21, 2024. These cucumbers are approximately 5-9 inches long and 1.5-2 inches around. The statement also notes that they are dark green and that this particular recall does not include other varieties (like English or mini-cucumbers).

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Here's what to do if you've purchased the recalled cucumbers.

I was in the middle of eating a bowl of pasta salad when my husband walked into the room playing the automated message from our grocery store on the phone, letting us know that the cucumbers we had purchased for our BBQ were being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. The cucumbers were of course one of the main ingredients in the salad, which I immediately stopped eating and threw away.

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As an otherwise healthy 42-year-old I wasn't too panicked about the possible contamination because I'd been there before — both my husband and I got very sick during an October 2021 salmonella outbreak involving onions — and I had hoped that the fact that I'd eaten less than half of one whole cucumber would work in my favor.

Green basket of sliced cucumbers.
Source: iStock
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It wasn't long before I started experiencing symptoms, which lasted for about a week. While my experience was blessedly mild, others are not so lucky. Salmonella can be especially dangerous for the very young, those with complex immune systems, and the elderly. The FDA says symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In very serious cases, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause extreme illnesses like endocarditis, arthritis, and arterial infections.

If you believe you have purchased the recalled cucumbers, you can throw them away or return to the place where they were purchased to ask for a refund. Anyone who has additional questions can reach out to the company directly by calling 1-888-364-2993 during their regular business hours.

The FDA states on their website that they will also continue to monitor the recall and update consumers if anything changes.

This article, originally published on June 4, 2024, has been updated to reflect new information from the FDA.

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