Papayas from Mexico blamed for another Salmonella outbreak

For the sixth time in eight years, papayas grown in Mexico have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island to avoid eating any fresh papayas from Mexico until further notice.

No recall has been announced.

CDC reports 62 cases of Salmonella Uganda illnesses, including 23 hospitalizations, in eight states: Connecticut (14), Florida (1), Massachusetts (5), New Jersey (12), New York (24), Pennsylvania (4), Rhode Island (1), and Texas (1).

No deaths have been reported.

According to FDA, most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.

Children younger than five, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe salmonellosis infections.

By the numbers

Epidemiological evidence gathered by CDC, and product distribution information obtained by FDA, point to papayas grown in Mexico and distributed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Just over one-half of the victims are female, and approximately two-thirds of those interviewed are of Hispanic ethnicity. Ages of outbreak victims range from one to 86 years.

Of those victims who were interviewed, 76% reported having eaten papaya in the week before becoming ill.

The Florida victim reported having traveled to Connecticut in the week before becoming ill. It is unknown at this time whether the Texas victim had traveled to one of the six states to which the papayas were shipped.

FDA has not yet identified a source or grower of the contaminated papayas.

History

This is the sixth in a series of Salmonella outbreaks linked to papayas grown in Mexico and imported into the USA in the last eight years.

In 2011, Mexican papayas contaminated with Salmonella Agona were the source of a 25-state outbreak that sickened 106 individuals, sending 10 of them to hospital.

In 2017, history repeated itself four-fold. A total of 251 individuals were infected with one of several different strains of Salmonella after eating Mexico-grown papayas. Seventy-eight of the outbreak victims were hospitalized and two people died.

If history is any guide, it is likely that the number of cases and hospitalizations in this outbreak will increase.

What should consumers do?

  • If you have purchased a papaya grown in Mexico, throw it away.
  • Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico.
  • If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out.
  • Wash and sanitize places where papayas were stored: countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.

What should restaurants and retailers do?

In the event that restaurants, retailers and/or other food service operators are found to have handled potentially contaminated food in their facilities, they should:

  • Contact their local health department and communicate to their customers regarding possible exposure to a pathogen.
  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and utensils that may have contacted contaminated foods; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
  • Wash and sanitize display cases and surfaces used to potentially store, serve, or prepare potentially contaminated foods.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Conduct regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards and utensils used in processing to help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.

 

 

Recalls and Alerts: August 31 – September 4, 2017

Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Outbreak Alert: CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of 37 human Salmonella infections linked to contact with pet turtles. Outbreak cases have been reported from 13 states; 16 of the 37 victims have been hospitalized. Nearly one-third of the victims are children under 5 years of age.

Outbreak/Food Safety Alert (Update): CDC’s investigation of Salmonella infections linked to consumption of Maradol papayas from Mexico continues to expand with the identification of two more outbreaks. The consolidated number of cases has reached 201 victims in 23 states, with 65 hospitalizations and one death. In addition to Carica de Campeche, two more Mexican farms have been implicated in outbreak cases: Caraveo Produce and El Zapotanito.

Allergy Alert: Wakefern Food Corp. recalls ShopRite brand Semi-Sweet Real Chocolate Chips (24-oz bags; Best if Used By dates of April 11, 2019 and April 12, 2019; UPC 041190 02668) due to undeclared milk. The recalled product was sold in ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer and other retail stores located throughout the Northeast.

Canada

Allergy Alert: Summer Star Trading Co. Ltd. recalls Ziranwei brand dried and preserved products due to undeclared sulphites. Please refer to the recall notice for a detailed list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: The British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) warns consumers that Hepatitis A virus has been detected in a sample of Western Family brand fresh pineapple chunks (7-oz ready-to-go cups; Produced August 11, 2017; Best before August 19, 2017; Product of Costa Rica). The recalled product was distributed to 38 Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods and PriceSmart Foods stores in BC. Please refer to the BCCDC notice for a complete list of stores where the product was sold.

Food Safety Recall: Industry recalls Shore Lunch brand Fish Breading/Batter Mix – Cajun Style (255g; Product code 1064828; Best by 1/18/2018; UPC 0 24739 19363 5) and Shore Lunch brand Fish Breading/Batter Mix – Original Recipe (255g; Product code  1064839; Best by 1/17/2018; UPC 0 24739 19362 8) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall: Gastronomie Nature (3935299 Canada Inc.) recalls Schnitzer brand Baguette Classic (2 x 180g; Product code 30118; UPC 4 022993 045628) due to pieces of plastic.

Europe

Allergy Alert (UK): Asda recalls ASDA Classic Fish Pie (800g; Best before 07 Sept 2017) due to undeclared mustard.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Upignac recalls Delhaize brand Raw breast of duck (approx 400g; vacuum packed; Lot #20170107; Use by 05/09/2017) due to contamination with shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Leis GmbH recalls Dried Dill / Dillspitzen, getrocknet (50g; Expiry date 10.11.2017; Lot #L4647) due to contamination with Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): Industry recalls Schnitzer brand Glutenfreies Bio Maisbaguette zum Aufbacken (2 x 180g; Lot #30118; Expiry 03.01.2018; Product of Germany) due to possible presence of pieces of plastic.

Food Safety Recall (UK): TRS Wholesale Ltd recalls TRS Whole Chillies Extra Hot (50g; Best before 28 February 2019; Batch code P170221) due to elevated aflatoxin levels.

Food Safety Recall (UK): Myprotein recalls a number of products due to potential Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Safety Recall (UK): Athole Tablet Ltd recalls Scots Tablet (2.268Kg Jars; Best before 19/2/18 – 24/2/18; Batch codes 171920P1-4, 172221P1-8, 172321P1-5, 172421P1-4, 172521P1-4) and Iron Broo Tablet (2.268Kg Jars; Best before 22/2/18 – 25/2/18; Batch codes 172321P6-8 and 172621P1-4) due to potential contamination with small pieces of metal.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Food Safety Recall (Israel): AMST recalls Smoked Salmon filets due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for details.

Australia and New Zealand

Allergy Alert (New Zealand): Importers recall Chuan Qi Hot Pot Sauce (All sizes, batch codes, dates and flavors) due to undeclared peanuts, gluten, soy, sesame, crustacea and fish.

Food Safety Recall (Australia): Rafferty’s Garden recalls Rafferty’s Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto (Best before 10 Aug 2018 and 12 Aug 2018) due to possible contamination with pieces of glass.

Food Safety Recall (New Zealand): Go Farming Ltd recalls Go 2 Raw Milk brand raw (unpasteurised) drinking milk (1L glass bottles; Batch 32, 33, and 34; Use by 18 August 2017, 20 August 2017, and 21 August 2017) due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled product is sold online and is collected at the farm or delivered within the Southland and Queenstown regions.

 

Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket’s recall website.

*The Kroger umbrella encompasses numerous supermarket, marketplace and convenience store chains
**Includes Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs and Pak N’ Save.

Second Papaya Recall issued as Salmonella Outbreak Grows

One person dead, 35 hospitalized, 109 ill.

A second recall has been issued for Maradol papayas from Mexico as a result of the ongoing investigation into a Salmonella outbreak that has grown to 109 confirmed illnesses.

Agroson’s LLC (Bronx, NY) has recalled 2,483 boxes of Cavi brand Maradol Papayas, grown and packed by Carica de Campeche. The recalled papayas were supplied to wholesalers in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey from July 16 to 19, 2017.

The papayas were available for sale until July 31, 2017. Consumers can identify the papayas by PLU sticker, cavi MEXICO 4395.

According to the recall notice, Agroson’s has ceased importing papayas from Carica de Campeche.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier today that the Salmonella outbreak linked to consumption of Maradol papayas imported from Mexico has more than doubled in size, and has spread to six additional states.

Most of the increase is due to the addition of cases from a second outbreak strain.

In addition to Salmonella Kiambu, CDC has confirmed a strain of Salmonella Thompson  from a sample of papaya is genetically similar to Salmonella Thompson cultures recovered from patients. In all, Salmonella Kiambu has been found in 48 outbreak cases, and Salmonella Thompson in 61.

Confirmed outbreak cases have been reported from 16 states, including: Connecticut (4), Delaware (1), Iowa (2), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (1), Maryland (6), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), North Carolina (2), New Jersey (26), New York (36), Oklahoma (2), Pennsylvania (7), Virginia (11) and Wisconsin (1).

Texas, which was indicated to have reported a single outbreak cases in CDC’s initial announcement, has been removed from the list of affected states.

The first victim fell ill May 17th; the most illness developed on July 22nd. The youngest outbreak victim was less than one year old; the oldest was 95. Approximately two-thirds of the victims were female, and 68% were of Hispanic ethnicity.

The death was reported from New York City.

Initial investigtions identified Caribeña brand Maradol papayas as a source of the Salmonella Kiambu outbreak. On July 26th, Grande Produce (San Juan, Texas) issued a limited recall of papayas shipped to a Maryland distributor.

Traceback investigations carried out by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified the Carica de Campeche farm (Campeche, Mexico) as the likely source of the outbreak. According to FDA, papayas from Carica de Campeche tested positive for Salmonella Agona, Salmonella Senftenberg, and Salmonella Gaminara in addition to the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson.

As a result of its findings, FDA has added Carica de Campeche to Import Alert 99-35 (Detention without physical examination of fresh produce that appears to have been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions) and has removed the farm from the Green List of entities exempt from Import Alert 21-17 (Countrywide Detention Without Physical Examination of Papaya from Mexico).

Carica de Campeche was granted an exemption from this detention notice in 2015.

FDA has stepped up testing of papayas from other farms in Mexico to determine whether they may be contaminated. If Salmonella is found in papaya from a farm, that  entity will be added to the Import Alert 99-35 detention list.

 

What CDC wants consumers to know:

CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from Mexico until we learn more.

  • At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as one brand linked to the outbreak.
    • Consumers should not eat, restaurants should not serve, and retailers should not sell recalled papayas.
    • Additional brands will be announced as the information becomes available.
  • Maradol papayas have a green skin that turns yellow as the fruit ripens.
  • A sticker on the Maradol papaya should say if the papaya is Caribeña brand and if it is from Mexico.
  • 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.

Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating contaminated papaya.

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop the following signs and symptoms 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria:
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Abdominal cramps