October 19, 2019

Agroson’s Will Not Recall Cavi Papayas Likely Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has updated the Salmonella Uganda outbreak likely linked to fresh papayas imported from Mexico, stating that they have asked Agroson’s LLC, the distributor of the Cavi brand of papayas, to recall that product. Agroson’s has refused to initiate a recall.

Argroson's Will Not Recall Cavi Papayas Likely Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has contacted the company’s wholesale customers to make sure that the fruit is no longer for sale, has been discarded, or has not been further processed or frozen. The FDA is recommending that consumers in all states not eat Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas and should throw them away. If you can’t determine the brand of papayas you purchased, discard them. And retailers, restaurants and other food service providers should not serve or sell whole, fresh papayas under the Cavi brand.

The update also states that consumers do not need to avoid whole, fresh papayas with the exception of the Cavi brand. And the hold the FDA placed on June 28, 2019 for all imported Mexican papayas is no longer necessary. However, the government says that the Cavi brand still needs to be withheld from introduction into the marketplace.

The case count still stands at 71 sick, with 27 hospitalizations. The last illness onset date was June 16, 2019. Since these papayas have a relatively short shelf life, none should be available for purchase at retail stores, although some consumers may have processed and frozen the papayas. The case count by state is: Connecticut (14), Florida (1), Massachusetts (5), New Jersey (18), New York (27), Pennsylvania (4), Rhode Island (1), and Texas (1).

If you purchased any of these papayas, you should clean the your refrigerator with a mild bleach solution. Wash and sanitize surfaces that were used to serve or store the papayas, and wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning and handling the fruit.

If you have eaten papayas and have been ill with the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor. Those symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. In some people, especially the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, this infection can cause dehydration or develop into sepsis, and they need to be hospitalized.

Agroson’s has responded to the FDA, stating: “We are aware of the recent FDA claims regarding our Cavi brand Papayas and their alleged link to a Salmonella outbreak in June, most recently in a letter issued today. While we respect the FDA’s process and concern for public safety, we are confident that our Cavi brand Papayas are safe for consumption and are not contaminated at this time.

We follow all applicable federal and state regulations and are committed to our customers’ health and safety. Any claims that we violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in our operations is patently false. In fact, repeated, direct testing conducted by the FDA has shown no trace of bacteria in our product. FDA continues to sample our shipments and release it into the U.S. for sale, finding no positive sample to Salmonella. FDA’s epidemiological and traceback evidence is tenuous and insufficient to establish a causal link to the outbreak.

Because our customers’ health and safety is of the utmost importance to us, two years ago, when the FDA notified us of a possible contamination of our papayas, after testing confirmed a positive identification of the presence of the Salmonella germ, we immediately removed our products as a precaution. The current claims against our product are not under the same circumstances. If we ever believe our product has the potential to be contaminated, we voluntarily recall the product until our investigation into the source of the Salmonella outbreak is complete. Through repeated, negative testing, we discovered no link to our Cavi brand Papayas and the current Salmonella outbreak.”

 

 

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