Salmonella-Contaminated Cucumbers Have Killed 3 People, Hospitalized 112

cukesSalad is supposed to be beneficial to your health, but hundreds of people across the country have become sick due to their taste for fresh cucumbers. While the veggies’ supplier and one distributor have recalled affected batches of vegetables, and reports of new infections have slowed down, the outbreak has still made 558 people sick, sent 112 to the hospital, and now three people have died.

Time magazine put a human face on the outbreak by interviewing a family in Utah, who thought that their 5-year-old had just a stomach bug. The boy’s parents and two siblings weren’t sick. His gastrointestinal distress stopped, but he was still weak. Then he developed a terrible fever and there was blood in his urine.

He ended up in the hospital with a urinary tract infection. Public health officials checked what he had eaten recently, and were able to connect his illness, and the specific strain of Salmonella Poona, to cucumbers that he had eaten.

Now he’s still recovering and taking antibiotics, and the family has filed a lawsuit against the cucumber grower.

His mother thought she understood how to prevent foodborne illness. “I’ve always known you have to cook chicken thoroughly,” she told the magazine. “As long as you are washing your vegetables and buying from stores that are clean, it’s supposed to be fine. Someone is supposed to protect you. The system is failing.”

The median age of people who have become ill is 16, which shows that this infection is affecting kids more than adults. Over half of the reported infections have been children under 18.

How This Child Was Poisoned by Tainted Cucumbers [Time]