Papaya Products Recalled for Salmonella

In the wake of two federal agency investigations into Salmonella-contaminated papayas, another recall is being initiated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. At least 97 reports of Salmonella Agona have led to 10 hospitalizations in 23 states. Outbreaks cases were reported between January 1 and July 18, 2011.

The outbreak appears to have originated with Agromod Produce, Inc. papayas. All papayas distributed by Agromod Produce, Inc. of McAllen, Texas sold before July 23, 2011 have been recalled. The impacted papayas were distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Agromod Produce. Recent FDA sampling found the outbreak strain in two papaya samples collected at Agromod’s McAllen, Texas plant and at the U.S. border destined for Agromod Produce. The shipments that tested positive with the Salmonella Agona strain were not distributed in the U.S.

Most recently, GHSW, LLC of Houston, Texas issued a recall for fresh cut fruit products containing papaya over the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled products were distributed to retail establishments and distribution centers in Texas and bear a Best If Used By Date of 7/30/11 or sooner. GHSW was notified that papayas used in the products listed below were associated with the Agromod Produce, Inc. papaya recall dated July 23, 2011 and advised that these products should not be consumed and should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase for a refund. GHSW, LLC can be reached directly at 1.916.844-1140 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday

• Garden Highway Island Medley 10 oz.: UPC 8.26766-20900.2
• Central Market Island Medley 1 lb.: UPC 8.26766-26089.8
• Central Market Island Medley 5 oz.: UPC 8.26766-26201.4
• Central Market Papaya Spears 1 lb.: UPC 8.26766-26209.0
• Central Market Tropical Medley 1 lb.: UPC 8.26766-26114.7
• Central Market Tropical Salsa 11 oz.: UPC 8.26766-26218.2

Both the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to investigate the Salmonella outbreak; the FDA is collaborating with state authorities, Agromod Produce Inc., and Mexican officials and the CDC and FDA are collaborating with public health officials in many states. Public health investigators are using DNA analysis of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing to identify illness cases that may be part of this outbreak. The FDA is also working with Agromod Produce to determine if previous shipments of potentially contaminated papaya could be in U.S. commerce.

No known illnesses have been linked to GHSW products; however, it is important to note that Salmonella can take time to manifest. Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 6 to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

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