BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Three cases of salmonella in Louisiana may be part of the outbreak that sickened 285 people in 27 states, killing a 99-year-old California woman, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The Louisiana cases were in the Baton Rouge area, the northeast and the northwest, according to a news release Saturday.
The outbreak also included one or two cases in Mississippi, 60 in Arizona and 51 in California as of Thursday, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego made a voluntary recall Friday of "Limited Edition" brand cucumbers, which are produced in Mexico.
Louisiana's health department received notification Friday night and began calling national companies with Louisiana outlets that might have sold or used the cucumbers, spokeswoman Ashley Lewis wrote. The agency said Red Lobster restaurants in Louisiana disposed of the cucumbers Friday.
Whole Foods also was on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recall list of chains which had bought the cucumbers, and managers at the Baton Rouge store told state sanitarians Saturday that they had stocked and were getting rid of the vegetables, said Olivia Watkins, also a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Hospitals.
However, she said Sunday night, the chain assured her that Whole Food managers in Baton Rouge were mistaken when they said they had that brand.
Whole Foods Market national spokesman Michael Silverman wrote in an email Sunday night, "We did and do not carry the cucumbers at issue in this recall."
Authorities say the cucumbers also were distributed in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Andrew & Williamson said it is working with health officials to determine if its products are the source of the outbreak, and it undertook the voluntary recall out of caution.
Health officials said the risk of becoming ill after eating a recalled cucumber is low. However, DHH recommended precautions: "If you aren't sure if your cucumbers were recalled, ask the place of purchase or your supplier. When in doubt, don't eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out."