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Crime and Courts

Kansas Woman Sues Over Cucumber-Related Salmonella

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A Kansas woman is suing a San Diego-based produce distributor after she was hospitalized with Salmonella poisoning linked to tainted cucumbers. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Monica Rios loves cucumbers. The Sedgwick County woman says she bought a Fat Boy brand cucumber at a Wal-Mart store in Wichita last August, washed it thoroughly, and ate it in a salad. Within a couple of days, she was hospitalized with abdominal cramping and pain she says she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

“I would call my sister, like, every day, just to ask her, ‘Am I gonna die?’ Because the pain wouldn’t go away," she says.

Rios is represented by prominent food safety attorney Bill Marler. He says Rios tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella found in cucumbers recalled by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, Incorporated. How the cucumbers became contaminated remains under investigation, but Marler suspects contaminated wash water.

“When you have something that’s this large of a contamination event, it usually has to do with water contamination," he says.

671 people in 34 states have been sickened by the outbreak, including two in Kansas. Three people have died.