Fresh, whole papayas sold in stores the United States and Canada may be the source of a 23-state salmonella outbreak, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The potentially tainted papayas are from Agromod Produce, Inc., a distributor in McAllen, Texas. The papayas are imported from Mexico. A recent sampling by the FDA found the outbreak strain matched papaya samples – one from the Agromod Produce location in McAllen, Texas, and one from the U.S. border destined for the McAllen distribution facility. Those shipments that tested positive for salmonella were not distributed in the United States.
The FDA and CDC are warning consumers not to eat the Agromod Produce brand papayas until they confirm the source of the outbreak. So far, 97 cases of salmonella agona have been reported, including 10 hospitalizations, in 23 states.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can make humans sick. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, some individuals may require hospitalization from severe diarrhea.
Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites. It can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection.
Consumers should inspect their fresh papayas for Agromod-brand stickers. Those who have purchased the recalled papayas are advised to check with the retailer to see if the papayas they purchased are among those affected, or throw the product away. Discarded papayas should first be sealed in a container so that people and wild animals cannot eat them.
Salmonella Agona has been reported in 23 states between January 1 and July 18. The states include: Arkansas (1), Arizona (3), California (7), Colorado (1), Georgia (8), Illinois (17), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (3), New York (6), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (25), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (2).