November 28, 2021

FDA Describes Papayas to Avoid in Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has updated their investigation into the deadly multistate Salmonella outbreak that is linked to imported Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm located in Campeche, Mexico. Officials are telling consumers to avoid Caribeña, Cavi and Valery brands of Maradol papayas from that farm.

Maradol papayas

The Cavi brand papayas have been distributed by Agroson’s, the Caribeña brand distributed by Grande Produce, and Valery brand papayas have been distributed by Freshtex Produce LLC. Carica de Campeche farm has been added to the agency’s Import Alerts after testing found multiple strains of Salmonella on the fruit.

There are at least 173 people sickened in this outbreak, 58 hospitalizations, and one death in 21 states. And there are four strains of Salmonella found in isolates taken from ill persons.

The papayas can be identified by their stickers and markings on those sticker. Caribeña brand papayas were distributed between July 10 and 19, 2017. They have a red, green, and yellow sticker.

Cavi papayas were distributed to wholesalers in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey from July 16 to the 19, 2017  and available to consumers until July 31. The Cavi brand has a purple, green, and black sticker with the words “cavi MEXICO 4395” in white. Only some lot codes of Cavi papayas were recalled that were known to come from Carica de Campeche. Boxes that wholesalers receive are stamped with CARICA DE CAMPECHE on the upper left side of the box. Other Cavi papayas, sourced from other farms, are not being recalled.

Valery brand papayas were distributed from July 10 to the 13, 2017. These Maradol papayas have a red, yellow, and green stick with “Valery” in yellow letters.

If you have purchased any of these specific papayas, do not eat them. Throw them away in a sealed package or double bagged container, or take them back to the store where you bought them for a full refund.

Papayas from Mexico have been screened at the border for Salmonella since 2011. Shipments have not been allowed without documentation of testing, showing that the food tests negative for Salmonella. The FDA is working with Mexican food safety authorities about this investigation and FDA’s regulations on the implicated Mexican firms.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting about 12 to 72 hours after infection. While most people recover on their own, some do become so ill they need to be hospitalized. The hospitalization rate in this outbreak is almost double the average for most Salmonella outbreaks. Officials have not stated why this is happening. It could be that the bacteria are quite virulent, or it could be that the pathogens are resistant to antibiotics.

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman helps people sickened by contaminated food such as contaminated produce protect their legal rights, and get justice and compensation. Our experienced attorneys represent patients and their families who have been sickened with bacterial infections in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against growers, retailers, food producers, food processors, restaurants, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection. Class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims because the cases are unique.

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