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More than 200 sickened by Salmonella from Mexican papayas

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By Joe Whitworth+

04-Sep-2017
Last updated on 05-Sep-2017 at 16:20 GMT2017-09-05T16:20:50Z

FDA papaya testing has found two other outbreaks linked to different Mexican farms
FDA papaya testing has found two other outbreaks linked to different Mexican farms

The outbreak of Salmonella in the US linked to imported papayas has passed 200 cases.

It includes four different types of the pathogen: Thompson, Kiambu, Agona and Gaminara.

The same strains of these types of Salmonella were found in samples from papayas and ill people.

A total of 201 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Thompson (131), S. Kiambu (57), S. Agona (eight) or S. Gaminara (five) are from 23 states.

Sixty-five ill people have been hospitalized and one person from New York City has died.

Maradol papayas from Carica de Campeche

Maradol papayas from Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico are the likely source.

Illness dates range from May 17 to August 20. Ill people range in age from less than one to 95.

Among 196 ill people, 118 are female and out of 153 people, 101 are of Hispanic ethnicity.

Caribeña brand was distributed between July 10 and 19 and can be identified by a red, green and yellow sticker and Valery brand, distributed from July 10-13 have a red, yellow and green sticker with ‘Valery’ in yellow letters.

Cavi brand, distributed to wholesalers in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey from July 16-19 and available to consumers until July 31 has a purple, green, and black sticker with “cavi MEXICO 4395” in white.

Only certain lot codes of Cavi papayas were recalled that come from Carica de Campeche. Cavi papayas sourced from other farms are not being recalled.

Separate outbreaks linked to papayas from other farms

Testing by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified papayas from two other farms in Mexico, Caraveo Produce in Tecomán, Colima and El Zapotanito in La Huerta, Jalisco, that were positive for Salmonella strains that matched illnesses from other outbreaks.

Illnesses in these two outbreaks are not linked to papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm and are being investigated separately.

Papayas from these farms were distributed earlier this year but FDA said no shipments of papayas from either farm are on the market because they are past their shelf life.

FDA testing identified Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Infantis in an imported papaya from Caraveo Produce.

CDC identified three people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of S. Newport (two people) or S. Infantis (one).

Ill people were reported from Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan. All three ate or possibly ate papayas in the week before illness started.

FDA testing found Salmonella Urbana in an imported papaya sample from El Zapotanio.

CDC identified six people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of S. Urbana. Ill people were from New Jersey (four), New York and Pennsylvania (one each).

Of four people with information available, three ate or possibly ate papayas in the week before illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said consumers should not eat, restaurants not serve and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche, Caraveo Produce or El Zapotanito farms in Mexico.

“Because three separate outbreaks linked to papayas from different farms have been identified, CDC is concerned that papayas from several other farms in Mexico might be contaminated with Salmonellaand have made people sick.”

Canadian Salmonella outbreak investigations

Meanwhile, Public Health in Edmonton is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella linked to food served by one restaurant booth at a folk music festival.

There have been 19 lab-confirmed cases with exposure to food purchased at the Haweli Restaurant booth.

Environmental Public Health inspected Haweli Restaurant and said it was satisfied that requirements under the Alberta Public Health Act are being met.

Recalled President's Choice chicken nuggets

In other news, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has closed an investigation into a Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen raw breaded chicken.

There were 13 S. Enteritidis infections in British Columbia (one), Alberta (five), Manitoba (one), Ontario (five) and New Brunswick (one) and two people were hospitalized.

Individuals became sick between April and June and the majority (69%) were male. The average age of cases was 21.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a recall in July for President's Choice brand Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets (800g) distributed nationally with a best before date of 2018 MR 15.

At the time of the recall, Loblaw Companies said the product may pose a risk to consumers if improperly prepared.

Several sick individuals reported eating the chicken nuggets before illness occurred.

A sample of the product collected from retail tested positive for S. Enteritidis and had the same genetic fingerprint as cases of human illness.

PHAC said frozen raw breaded chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F).

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