Nationwide Frozen Mamey Fruit Pulp Recall

An urgent, nationwide f<"">ruit pulp recall has been issued for frozen mamey fruit, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Mamey fruit, also known as “zapote,” is large, round, with brown skin and a fleshy orange pulp; is typically grown in the tropical lowlands of Central America; and is very popular among the Hispanic community, especially in juice and fruit shakes called “batidos.”

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat frozen mamey fruit pulp sold under the La Nuestra brand by Montalvan Sales Inc. Ontario, California, or the Goya brand by Goya Foods Inc. Secaucus, New Jersey. An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state partners found an epidemiologic link between an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Typhi infections and the products.

The CDC reports that, to date, at least nine people in California and Nevada are ill with typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella Typhi. Ill individuals have reported consuming mamey fruit pulp, including mamey fruit smoothies at juice stands. Consumers with recalled La Nuestra or Goya brand frozen mamey pulp in their homes are urged to discard them immediately and to determine what brand of mamey is used in drinks prepared at juice stands and stores.

This Salmonella Typhi outbreak is not related to the current outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to eggs in their shells. Epidemiologic evidence links imported frozen mamey sold by Montalvan’s Sales Inc.— La Nuestra brand—and by Goya Foods to this ongoing outbreak. Both companies receive their mamey from one supplier in Guatemala.

Infections with Salmonella Typhi cause typhoid fever, which is more common in developing countries. Eight of those who fell ill report not having traveled outside the U.S. Salmonella Typhi only lives in humans. Infection results from consuming food or beverages handled by a person shedding S. Typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. Typhi bacteria gets into the water used for drinking or washing food. Once S. Typhi bacteria are consumed, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever, severe abdominal pain, and other signs and symptoms.

Most ill persons require hospitalization for antibiotic treatment. Those with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract; a small number, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S. Typhi in their feces (stool). To confirm typhoid fever, stool samples or blood must be tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi. Consumers who suspect that they have typhoid fever should see their health care professionals immediately.

Both the Goya and La Nuestra products are sold frozen. The recalled “La Nuestra” brand mamey pulp was distributed in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, through retail stores and comes in a 14-ounce plastic package. All lot numbers are affected; however, packages produced prior to May 2009 are not identified with a lot number and are subject to this recall as well; the UPC is 7-56869-10008-4. Montalvan’s Sales, Inc.’s Consumer Affairs can be reached Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, at (909) 930-5670.

We recently wrote that in its recall announcement, Goya Foods said its mamey fruit pulp comes in 14-ounce plastic packages. All lot numbers are affected by this recall; however, packages produced prior to May 2009 are not identified with a lot number and are subject to this recall as well.

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