FDA Issues Papaya Recall Over Salmonella Outbreak

Food recalls tend to scare the daylights out of most folks, but they’re oftentimes much ado about nothing. Companies will institute voluntary recalls out of an abundance of caution if something seems amiss, and things are back to normal before you know it.

This is not one of those cases. As Food&Wine shares, the US Food and Drug Administration has instituted a massive recall of a popular fruit after a salmonella outbreak.

Papayas from Mexico are the fruit in question, and the FDA has provided detailed information in a statement on its website.

“The FDA is now advising that consumers avoid Caribeña, Cavi and Valery brands of Maradol papayas, and all varieties of papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm located in Campeche, MX, as a result of the FDA’s traceback investigation and testing,” the statement reads in part. “The FDA is working to identify additional brand(s) that these papayas are sold under and facilitate recall(s). Meanwhile, consumers should ask their retailers about the source of their papayas.”

The recall should stem the tide on the illness front, as it sounds like things were getting incredibly out of hand.

“CDC reports 109 cases, 35 hospitalizations and one death from 16 states in the Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson outbreaks,” the statement continues. “The states involved are CT, DE, IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VA, and WI.”

Consumers in possession of any of the recalled items should toss them immediately. Those that may have already consumed the affected products without issue are encouraged to sterilize storage areas and utensils that may have come in contact with the papaya out of an abundance of caution.

“The FDA is closely communicating with Mexican food safety authorities, Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA), and Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios (COFEPRIS), on the outbreak investigation and the FDA’s regulatory activities on implicated Mexican firms,” the statement adds. “Mexican food safety authorities are conducting inspections and other follow up activities at firms of interest.”

The FDA has also provided helpful information for what to do in the case of salmonella infection. If your symptoms fit the bill, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention.

“If you think you might have become ill from eating potentially contaminated papayas, talk to your health care provider,” according to the statement. “Contact your health care provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.”

Hopefully, the problem will be eradicated before too long, but we’ll consider ourselves less than surprised if papayas take a hit in popularity for awhile. Recalls have a way of stigmatizing products, but you can rest assured that the affected ones will not even sniff the shelves until it’s abundantly clear that there are no further issues.

Source: Food&Wine
Photos: Brent Hofacker/123RF Stock Photo, Anna Frodesiak/Wikimedia

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