CDC: 14 new Salmonella cases tied to papayas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday confirmed 14 new cases in four ongoing multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to Maradol papayas imported from Mexico.

The case total now stands at 235, with 78 hospitalizations and 2 deaths (1 in New York and 1 in California). Twenty-six states are reporting cases, and 69% of sick people are Hispanic.

Four separate outbreaks

The CDC detailed four separate, ongoing outbreaks involving papayas from different Mexican farms. Many strains of Salmonella have been found on the skins of Maradol papayas.

The largest outbreak by far involves Salmonella Thompson, Salmonella Kiambu, Salmonella Agona, and Salmonella Gaminara infections linked to papayas from Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico. Ten more people in seven states were diagnosed as having infections in that outbreak this week, including for the first time a person in California.

Now 210 people in 24 states have been sickened by these papayas. One person, a previously reported patient from New York City, has also died, and 67 have been hospitalized. Illness-onset dates range from May 17 to Aug 27.

The second outbreak is from fruit grown on the Rancho El Ganadero farm. Four people total (one new one this week) in three states have fallen ill from two types of Salmonella: Newport and Infantis. Half of these patients have been hospitalized. Illness-onset dates vary from Jul 19 to Aug 7.

The source of the third outbreak is Maradol papayas from the El Zapotanito farm in La Huerta, Mexico. Three new illnesses were reported this week, bringing the total number of people involved to seven, in three states, resulting in four hospitalizations. All illnesses were caused by the Salmonella Urbana strain. Illness onsets range from Jul 23 to Aug14.

The fourth outbreak involves Salmonella Anatum. No new cases were reported this week. The death in California is tied to this outbreak strain.

Ongoing recalls for US distributors

Several US distributors of these papayas have recalled the produce, including Grande Produce's Caribena brand of Maradol papayas, Agroson's LLC's Cavi brand, and Freshtex Produce's Valery Brand.

Last week, Bravo Produce, Inc's recalled Maradol papayas packed by Frutas Selectas de Tijuana, S. de RL de CV, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported.

According to the CDC, Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored. If consumers are unsure of the origins of their papayas, they should throw them away, the agency said.

"Because four separate outbreaks linked to papayas from different farms have been identified, CDC is concerned that papayas from other farms in Mexico might be contaminated with Salmonella and have made people sick. FDA continues testing papayas from Mexico to see if papayas from other farms are contaminated with Salmonella," the CDC warned.

See also:

Sep 14 CDC Carica de Campeche outbreak

Sep 14 CDC Rancho El Ganadero outbreak

Sep 14 CDC  El Zapotanito outbreak

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