April 23, 2019

Mexican Papayas Still on Import Alert For Salmonella Contamination

Mexican papayas are still on the FDA Import Alert list for possible Salmonella contamination, after a 2017 outbreak that sickened at least 251 people across the country with nine strains of the pathogen, including Thompson, Kiambu, Anatum, Agona, Gaminara, Urbana, Newport, Infantis, and Senftenberg. That outbreak began in March 2017 and ran through October 2017. Another Salmonella outbreak, that time Salmonella Agona, linked to Mexican papayas sickened more than 100 people in many states.

Mexican Papaya FDA Import Alert

Mexico produces 11% of the world’s production of papayas, but about 65% of all of the papayas imported into the U.S. are from Mexico. The fruit is imported from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, Chiapas, and Veracruz. The FDA document state that “Evidence shows there is widespread contamination of Mexican papaya with Salmonella, a human pathogen. Based on this evidence, FDA has determined that papaya imported from Mexico appears to be adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the papayas appear to contain Salmonella, an added poisonous or deleterious substance that may render food injurious to health.”

The FDA has been collecting and analyzing samples of fresh whole papayas from Mexico. From May 12, 2011, to August 18, 2011, the FDA analysis found the pathogen in 33 samples out of 211 taken, for a positive rate of 15.6%. The positive samples were from nearly all of the major papaya producing regions in Mexico.

This alert means that officials can detain, without physical examination, “all raw, fresh and raw, fresh refrigerated papaya offered for entry from the country of Mexico, unless exempted (on the Green List).” Processed and cut papaya is not subject to the alert and may be imported into the United States.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Salmonella infection after eating papayas that were imported from Mexico, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202..

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