Shoppers turn to local produce in midst of salmonella outbreak

EUGENE, Ore. - In an update to a NewsSource Medical Alert affecting Oregon, Washington and 25 other states, one person is dead and dozens more are sick from a salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers.

The CDC traced the outbreak from those cucumbers imported from Mexico, which is giving some people reason enough to stick to local produce at farmers markets.

Sweet Water Nursery owner Tom Karakalos and his wife farm their food just seven miles west of Creswell. They say they take pride in their organic and uncontaminated product, especially in the midst of this salmonella outbreak.

"It's never been a problem for us," says Erica Trappe. "We've been selling produce for over 20 years with never a salmonella to be seen."

At least 285 people reported sick and one person dead from the outbreak.

Officials say outbreaks like this are can be related to cross contamination with meat.

The 'slicer cucumbers' were imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce in San Diego.

Customers John and Olivia O'Hare are taking action by only shopping local-. They say they're avoiding the potential of contaminated produce.

"Who knows what's on it," says John O'Hare. "Who knows what you're going to be ingesting with the food. I never get that aspect here."

Local farmers markets are stressing the short distance of food from the farm to the shelves.

Trappe says they get their food on the shelves within a day of harvesting, "so that's important not only for the, you know, not having the bacteria festering, but it's also better nutritional value and better flavor."

For those folks, shopping local provides fresh, clean produce -- a sanctuary during a salmonella scare.

Andrew and Williams Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled all contaminated cucumbers sold under 'The Limited Edition' brand.

Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

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