Ag Today November 8, 2016

Dozens of schools may have served contaminated cucumbers

BY STEVEN MAYER smayer@bakersfield.com

Kern County public health officials reported Monday that certain lots of cucumbers delivered to multiple locations in Bakersfield — including as many as 26 schools, three hospitals and two restaurants — have been recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.

While the information may have hit the streets too late to prevent possible illness, there have been no foodborne illnesses reported as a result of the potential salmonella contamination, said Michelle Corson, a spokeswoman at the Kern County Department of Public Health Services.

As many as 19 elementary schools in the Bakersfield City School District and seven campuses in the Greenfield Union School District received the cucumbers, which may have been served in salad bars at the schools between Oct. 19 and last Friday, the department said in a news release.

Other locations that may have received the cucumbers include San Joaquin Community Hospital; Bakersfield Memorial Hospital; Bakersfield Heart Hospital; Cal State Bakersfield; Logan’s Roadhouse; and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

Prime Time Produce, a grower-distributor based in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, issued the voluntary product recall, Corson said, but, strangely, local public health officials didn’t learn of the recall from Prime Time.

Prime Time informed its local distributor, but did not reach out to the public health department. The distributor made the decision to inform public health officials, Corson said, “because they are so wonderful that way.”

Prime Time officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

As the recall is not confined to Kern County, enforcement is in the hands of state health officials, Corson said. The local department’s priority is to identify any product that may still be in the system and make certain it is not served or used.

The affected school districts will notify parents of the recall.

Salmonella may cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. Salmonella infection can last four to seven days, and most individuals recover without treatment. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.

The information available to local public health officials on Monday was preliminary, Corson said, and new information will likely become known as the situation evolves.

For more information call 321-3000 or visit www.kernpublichealth.com.

Locations that may have been affected include:

Bakersfield City School District

Cato Middle School

Chavez Elementary

College Heights Elementary

Eissler Elementary

Fletcher Elementary

Garza Elementary

Harding Elementary

Harris Elementary

Horace Mann Elementary

Jefferson Elementary

Longfellow Elementary

Munsey Elementary

Nichols Elementary

Noble Elementary

Pioneer Elementary

Roosevelt Elementary

Thorner Elementary

Voorhies Elementary

William Penn Elementary

Greenfield Union School District

Granite Point Elementary

Greenfield Junior High

Horizon Elementary

McKee Middle

Ollivier Junior High

Palla Elementary

Planz Elementary

Other locations

San Joaquin Community Hospital

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

Bakersfield Heart Hospital

Cal State Bakersfield

Logan’s Roadhouse

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse