An outbreak of Salmonella across 23 states has left 10 people hospitalized and 97 others affected so far. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to Americans about the outbreak and has identified papayas as the source of the spate of cases.
Agromod Produce Inc. of McAllen, Texas says the Blondie, Yaya, Mananita and Tastylicious brands of papayas sold prior to July 23 are linked to the outbreak. The papayas were imported from Mexico and were distributed nationwide and to Canada.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and anyone with weakened immune systems. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
According to the FDA’S website, healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
Distribution of the papayas has been suspended while the FDA and the company continue an investigation as to the source of the problem. Recent sampling by the FDA found the outbreak strain in two papaya samples collected at Agromod Produce that tested positive for Salmonella Agona strain.
If you have fresh, whole papayas at home, check the brand stickers and PLU codes identified in the FDA’s press release on their website. If you’ve purchased the affected papayas, the FDA urges that you either throw them away in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them. Alternatively consumers can return them to the place of purchase.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at (800) 385-7658, Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST.