Three West Australian children were hospitalised with salmonella poisoning after eating a contaminated brand of baby cucumbers.
- Consumers are advised not to eat Qukes cucumbers purchased this month
- Three children hospitalised with salmonella poisoning are now recovering well
- Authorities believe the source of the outbreak is a farm in South Australia
WA Health is urging people not to consume any Qukes baby cucumbers bought during December, after 19 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported.
Paul Effler, senior medical advisor for Communicable Disease Control, said people of all ages had been affected by the poisoning – with the youngest under one and the eldest in their 60s.
He said the three children who were admitted to hospital have since been discharged and are “recovering well”.
“Because of the type of food it is, we’ve had more children affected with salmonella than we would typically see,” Dr Effler said.
The Health Department interviewed 18 of the people who contracted salmonella poisoning, 11 of whom were based in Perth, with others in the Great Southern, South West and Mid West.
“What’s important about that brand is they source product from multiple farms in different states,” he said
“It’s highly likely much of the product is absolutely safe.”
South Australian farm likely source
Dr Effler said authorities are tracing the source of the outbreak but the contaminated produce was likely from a farm in South Australia.
The last of the produce from that farm was dispatched on December 22.
“Our understanding from speaking with that supplier is they have ceased production at that farmhouse that is implicated from the product we identified,” Dr Effler said.
“We’re hopeful that’s going to completely resolve the problem.”
The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fatigue, fever, stomach pain, diarrhoea, and bloody diarrhoea.
“It can be serious, there will be a lot of people that get no symptoms whatsoever – that’s probably a majority – some people will get a mild illness for which they’ll never see a doctor and others will get so sick they’ll get bloody diarrhoea and ultimately end up getting lab tested or hospitalised,” Dr Effler said.
Qukes are distributed at a range of supermarkets including Coles, Woolworths and IGA across the country.
“I know there’s a handful of cases over east in different jurisdictions,” Dr Effler said.
“It’s an ongoing investigation … this may evolve.”
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