Salmonella cases in MA linked to fresh papayas from Mexico — CDC

CDC warns against papayas from Mexico amidst new outbreak CSPI says FDA should step up enforcement
By Coral Beach

CDC warns against papayas from Mexico amidst new outbreak CSPI says FDA should step up enforcement By Coral Beach

The states where the affected papaya was sold include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention urges people in NY state and five other states not to serve or sell whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico or food that contains papaya from Mexico. Report your illness to the health department. The latest report was June 8. Infections were reported in eight states.

Twenty-three people have been hospitalized.

Whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico are being investigated by the CDC and regulatory agencies in several states, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as part of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Uganda infections linked to the produce and sold in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, as well as in MA.

Supporting the CDC's theory that the papayas were to blame was reports that two people who lived in different households got sick in CT after eating papayas purchased from the same grocery store.

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"The FDA and regulatory officials in several states are collecting records to determine the source of the papayas that ill people ate".

If you're unsure where your papaya was grown, check with the store where you purchased it, or throw it out. When in doubt, don't eat the papaya. The agency recommends washing and sanitizing places where papayas are stored, including counter tops and refrigerator shelves.

The FDA strongly advises importers, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, retailers and other food service providers from all states to hold whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

According to officials at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, salmonella is bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever.

Most of the sick people are adults over 60, officials said. "Early product distribution information available at this time indicates that papayas that made people sick were imported from Mexico", the CDC said in its alert Friday. Those with compromised immune systems, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly, are at higher risk of developing a more severe illness.

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