November 15, 2019

Salmonella Uganda Outbreak Potentially Linked to Cavi Papayas Ends with 81 Sick

The Salmonella Uganda outbreak¬†potentially linked to Cavi papayas imported from Mexico by Agroson’s LLC has ended with 81 sick in 9 states, according to the CDC; the FDA’s investigational activities are still ongoing. Twenty-seven people were hospitalized because they were so sick. That’s an increase of 10 more illnesses and one more state since the last update in July 2019. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella Uganda Outbreak Potentially Linked to Cavi Papayas Ends with 81 Sick

The patient case count by state is: Connecticut (15), Delaware (1), Florida (2), Massachusetts (6), New Jersey (22), New York (29), Pennsylvania (4), Rhode Island (1), and Texas (1). The last illness onset date was July 16, 2019. The papayas potentially linked to this outbreak are no longer available for purchase, so the FDA says that consumers no longer need to avoid or withhold Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

This outbreak was not without complications. The FDA asked Agroson’s LLC, the exclusive distributor of the Cavi brand of papayas, to recall their product. The company¬†refused to issue a recall. So the FDA contacted wholesale customers of Agroson’s to make sure the fruit was no longer available for sale, had been discarded, or was not further processed or frozen.

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The outbreak notice states that epidemiologic and traceback information confirmed that Agroson’s LLC of the Bronx, New York, was the exclusive distributor of the imported papayas that were associated with the illnesses. However, in the July 5, 2019 outbreak update, the FDA stated that “To date, there have been no positive product samples.”

In late August 2019 the FDA issued a statement, asking the papaya industry to improve practices and better protect consumers. And the FDA issued a warning letter to Agroson’s LLC on August 26, 2019, that stated that Cavi papayas imported by Agroson’s were implicated in another Salmonella outbreak in 2017 that sickened 251 people and hospitalized 71. Two people died.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. These symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure, and the illness lasts about a week. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Salmonella Uganda outbreak.

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