Papaya Salmonella Bacteria Infects 109 People with More Possible Parker Waichman
Health officials reported that Maradol papayas from Mexico have been associated with 109 salmonella illnesses in 16 states, including one death in New York City, reports the Daily Hornet. A Bronx, New York-based food distributor, Agroson’s LLC, is recalling close to 2,500 boxes of its Maradol Papaya Cavi brand of papayas as a precaution.
Although the Cavi brand did not test positive, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is recommending a recall of all papayas imported from the Mexican farm, Carica de Campeche, in July. The brand was distributed to wholesalers in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut from July 16 to July 19 and were available for sale until July 31.
Distributor Stops Importing and Selling Certain Papayas
Agroson’s stopped importing papayas from the farm, and issued the recall after being warned by the FDA on August 2. Several brands of Maradol papayas from the farm had tested positive for the salmonella bacteria. The FDA is warning consumers to now avoid Caribena and Cavi brands of Maradol papayas, along with all varieties of papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm in Campeche, Mexico.
The salmonella outbreak has infected 12 people in New Jersey, and 13 in New York with cases reported also in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Kentucky. The illnesses were reported between May 17 and June 28, with ages of those infected ranging from less than a year old to 95 years old, according to the Daily Hornet.
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How to Identify Recalled Papayas
The Maradol papayas are large yellow fruits weighing approximately three pounds that are salmon-colored inside. They can be identified by the PLU sticker, “Cavi MEXICO 4395” printed on it. No other papayas distributed by Agroson’s are subject to the recall and the recalled produce is being removed from inventory and store shelves, according to the FDA.
Most people recover without any medical treatment, but in rare cases, especially in people with vulnerable immune systems, the bacterial infection can get into the bloodstream, producing more serious illnesses that can be deadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In these rare circumstances, the more severe illnesses may include arterial infections, such as infected aneurysms, endocarditis, and arthritis, according to the Daily Hornet.
Healthy people who are infected with salmonella may experience fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), and abdominal pain for several days.
Agroson’s is taking precautionary measures such as testing each load of papayas for the salmonella bacteria at a private lab, according to the FDA, reports NJ.com
The CDC has found two strains of salmonella – Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson – from Mardol papayas in Maryland. The FDA has found three other strains – Salmonella Agona, Salmonella Gaminara, and Salmonella Senftenberg – in papayas imported from Mexico, identifying the “Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche papaya farm in Mexico as a likely source of the outbreak.”
The CDC warns that “consumers [should] not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from Mexico until we learn more. If you aren’t sure if the papaya you bought is a Maradol papaya from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers can ask their supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out. Wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators where papayas were stored.”
So far, according to the CDC, there have been 47 cases, 12 hospitalizations, and one death from 12 states. The CDC was able to identify one illness cluster in Maryland which linked these cases of salmonella to papayas bought at a store in the Baltimore area. That led to the first advisory to avoid Caribena brand papayas on July 16, according to Food &Wine.
As of August 7, the FDA states, “FDA, CDC, state, and local health officials continue to actively investigate the cases with papaya exposure and will provide updates as additional information becomes available.”
The FDA notes, Mexican papayas have routinely been screened for salmonella since 2011 as part of the importing process.
Legal Information and Advice Concerning Food Recalls
If you or someone you know suffered illness involving a food recall, you may be eligible for compensation. Parker Waichman LLP personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).