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Recalled Papayas Linked to Over 100 Salmonella Illnesses, CDC Warns

More than 100 people across 16 states have fallen ill with one of two strains of salmonella food poisoning, which have been linked to recalled papayas from Mexico, resulting in at least 35 hospitalizations and one death. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an update on the papaya salmonella outbreaks on August 7, indicating the Salmonella Thompson and Salmonella Kiambu outbreaks have been linked to imported papayas from two distributors.

Since the last update earlier this month, an additional 64 salmonella illnesses in 16 different states have been identified, bringing the total case count to 109.

The CDC initiated an investigation into the salmonella outbreaks in mid-July, after receiving 47 reported illnesses, including 12 hospitalizations across a dozen states. The case count has more than doubled, while officials identified the source of the contamination.

Now, the CDC, in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claim to have identified the source of the contamination, which are imported papayas from a Mexican farm.

On July 26, the FDA announced a Caribeña brand Maradol Papaya recall affecting produce imported from Mexico to the Maryland distribution company, Grande Produce.

After further investigations, the FDA also announced a Cavi Brand Maradol Papaya recall on August 4, which includes an estimated 2,483 boxes, grown and packed in Carica de Campeche. The recall was initiated after random sample testing found positive traces of Salmonella in several brands of papayas grown at the farm.

The products were distributed by Agroson’s LLC to New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey retail and wholesale locations from July 16, to July 19, 2017 and were marked with PLU sticker, cavi MEXICO 4395. Wholesalers can identify the products included in the recall, as they are marked with master carton codes of 3044, 3045, and 3050, and have the farm they were grew on in the top left corner.

The FDA announced both firms have ceased the importation of papayas from the Mexico based farms, and recommend consumers stop eating the products immediately. Customers in possession of Caribeña brand papayas should contact Grande Produce at 888-507-2720 for information on how to receive a full refund. Customers with papaya products distributed by Agroson’s LLC should also stop consuming them immediately and contact the company at 917-801-1495 for disposal instructions.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis and seriously sicken the affected person. Salmonellosis is one of the most common food borne illnesses. Symptoms of the illness include, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever typically within 12 to 72 hours after eating the tainted product and may last for up to 4 to 7 days. While most patients recover without needing medical treatment, in some more serious cases, patient’s diarrhea may be so severe the patient needs hospitalization and IV fluids.

The illness can be especially problematic for older adults, infants and people with weakened immune systems. These patients are more likely to become severely ill, in which the FDA and CDC warn those concerned about Salmonellosis should contact their doctor.

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