More than 70 people in 18 states have fallen ill because of a salmonella outbreak linked to imported Mexican cucumbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The agency said 14 people have been hospitalized, and it is working with state health officials to identify other people who may have been infected.
The source of the outbreak is thought to be Mexican supplier Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacan, Mexico. The cucumbers were distributed by Tricar Sales Inc. of Rio Rico, Ariz., the CDC said.
The Food and Drug Administration has halted the imports by Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse unless they can prove that cucumbers are not contaminated with salmonella.
California reported the highest number of people who have fallen ill -- 28 so far. Among those sickened, many fell ill between Jan. 12 and April 6.
The outbreak peaked in early March, the CDC said, and contaminated cucumbers are no longer on the market.
Still, the number of those sickened by the outbreak could rise.
"Due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported, additional ill persons may be identified," the CDC said in a statement.
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