As the number of people sick with Salmonella from Mexican cucumbers continues to climb – 3 deaths, 671 people sick with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona, an increase of 113 cases since the last CDC update on September 22 — the U.S. distributor has donated to a non-profit group’s campaign aimed at improving foodborne disease diagnosis and it urged other produce companies to do the same.
San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce partner David Murray said in a Sept. 25 statement, that the firm is “absolutely devastated” by the outbreak and is working with authorities in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as food-safety experts, to analyze its processes and fix any problems.
“On a personal note, in reading information about the illnesses, it was clear that many doctors need additional guidance to ensure the timely diagnosis and treatment of foodborne illnesses,” he said. “With that in mind, we will be making a donation to STOP Foodborne Illness, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting those impacted by foodborne illness.”
“This donation is in support of STOP’s efforts to create an educational packet about foodborne illness to send to every pediatric emergency room and hospital in the U.S. so that patients receive a timely diagnosis and proper treatment.
While we recognize that our actions cannot alleviate the pain caused by a victim’s suffering or worse, the loss of a loved one, the A&W family promises you that we will learn from this experience. We will never forget what happened. And you can rest assured that our food safety decisions will forever be influenced by the memory of consumers who have been impacted by this recall.”