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Hundreds sick after eating tainted cucumbers

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A California company is recalling its cucumbers after a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 558 people in 33 states and killed three people in Arizona, California, and Texas.

Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego on Friday voluntarily recalled its "Limited Edition" brand garden cucumbers, which were grown in Mexico.

Health officials say the cucumbers are the likely cause of hundreds of illnesses since July 3 and the Aug. 17 death of a 99-year-old woman.

Half the people who became ill are under 18 years of age.

The cucumbers were distributed in Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Idaho; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Mississippi; Montana; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Utah.

The company said it is working with health officials to determine if its products are the source of the outbreak, and it undertook the voluntary recall out of caution.

"The safety and health of the consumers who buy our products have always been the highest priority for us," Dave Murray, a partner in the company, said in a phone interview. "I bring our produce home to my family, that's how much I believe in the produce we buy, ship and sell. We've invested millions to make sure our food safety systems are effective and up to date."

Washington state health officials say 15 residents have been sickened from the cucumber-related salmonella outbreak. Eight cases have been reported in Oregon, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

In Idaho, health officials say 14 residents have gotten sick. One of them was hospitalized but has recovered.

No one in Washington state has been hospitalized. Those cases are in Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Thurston and Yakima counties.

A total of 72 cases of salmonella linked to the cucumbers have been reported in six Arizona counties. About 75 percent of the cases are children ages 17 and under.

Some people have been hospitalized, but there haven't been any reported deaths.

Previous salmonella outbreaks have been linked to products ranging from to chicken to chia powder.