Salmonella Outbreak Prompts Papaya Recall

All papayas distributed by Agromod Produce, Inc. of McAllen, Texas are being recalled over concerns they may be contaminated with the dangerous, and sometimes, deadly Salmonella pathogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

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.

The papayas were imported from Mexico and are possibly linked to 97 reported cases of Salmonella Agona, including 10 hospitalizations, in 23 states throughout the United States.

Agromod is recalling all Blondie, Yaya, Mañanita, and Tastylicious Brand papayas sold prior to July 23, 2011; the fresh, whole papayas were distributed nationwide and to Canada through retail stores and wholesalers. The papayas can be identified, as follows:

• Blondie Brand Papayas: A blue and orange sticker label with green and white lettering on the fruit that states Blondie 4395 Mexico.
• Yaya Brand Papayas: A yellow, red, orange, and green label with white, green and red lettering that reads Yaya Premium Papayas Yaya PLU-4395 Mexico.
• Mañanita Brand Papayas: A green, yellow, and red sticker label that states Mexico Mañanita 4395.
• Tastylicious Brand Papayas: A white and blue sticker with red and white lettering that states 4395 Tastylicious MEXICO.

Recent sampling by the FDA found the outbreak strain in two papaya samples collected at Agromod Produce, Inc. location in McAllen, Texas and at the U.S. border destined for Agromod Produce, Inc. The shipments that tested positive with the outbreak strain were not distributed in the U.S.

Distribution of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased the Blondie, Yaya, Mañanita, or Tastylicious Brand Papayas are urged to return them to the place of purchase. The firm can be reached, toll-free, at 1.800.385.7658, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, Central Standard Time (CST).

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