August 28, 2014

National Mango Board Selective With Facts On Salmonella Outbreak

The best thing to do during a mango Salmonella outbreak is limit speculation and share the facts, according to the National Mango Board (NMB), an industry promotion and research group. And the NMB promises to share those facts with consumers as soon as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes a “formal announcement” about the Salmonella outbreak, William Watson, NMB’s executive director says in a letter.

What constitutes a formal announcement?  Not all of those recalls the FDA has posted for Daniella mangoes and products made from them that tell consumers not to eat the mangoes. Nor the same advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CPPH). And the word of 70 percent of outbreak victims with confirmed cases of Salmonella infection interviewed so far who say they ate mangoes during the week prior to becoming ill don’t count as formal announcements.

What Watson is waiting for is an announcement from the FDA of genetic proof that a mango tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella that has sickened 105 in 16 states. At that point, he says, “our plan to reach out to media, trade, importers and exporters will be launched immediately.”

At the point Watson is waiting it’s not clear how many people will be sick. The outbreak began in early July and cases are still being reported. What is clear is that consumers who are looking for information to help them now, should probably look elsewhere. The NMB has no recall information or links to the agencies who are monitoring the outbreak.

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