A salmonella outbreak is likely from whole papayas from Mexico, and people in six Northeastern states shouldn’t eat them, health officials advise.
The FDA is increasing import screening for whole papayas and is investigating the more precise source of the Salmonella Uganda strain responsible for 62 illnesses, including 23 requiring hospital care.
No recall was issued, but the agency “strongly advises” that importers, suppliers, distributors and food businesses in all states hold back fresh, whole papayas from Mexico. Officials hope to limit distribution of potentially contaminated fruit already in the supply chain. Products held beyond their expiration date should be thrown out.
People reported most of the illnesses in six states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. People in those places should throw out whole papayas from Mexico, and businesses that provide food should not offer them until more is known about the outbreak.
Investigators are using the PulseNet network from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track the bacterial strain through public health laboratory tests of samples’ genetic makeup.
The illnesses started on dates from Jan. 14 to June 8, with most occurring since April.