A number of importers and distributors in the US and Canada have initiated recalls for batches of the Daniella-brand mangoes after investigators in both countries linked a number of early illnesses to the consumption of mangoes.
In Canada, 21 people have become infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 103 cases across 16 states. Of these, 25 have been hospitalised. California has been worst hit by the outbreak, accounting for 78 of the 103 reported cases.
California-based produce distributor Splendid Products is voluntarily recalling certain batches of the Daniella-brand mangoes from the US.
Vancouver-based North American Produce Sales and Ontario-based Mex Y Can Trading, which both imported and distributed the Daniella-brand mangoes, have initiated their own recalls of the product from the Canadian marketplace.
Mangoes “likely source”
The CDC is collaborating with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health officials in several states in an effort to establish the exact source of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning Canadian consumers not to consume the Daniella-brand mangoes.
“The CFIA is working with all potential Canadian importers to have the affected mangoes removed from the marketplace,” said a CFIA statement added.
Public health investigators in the US are using DNA ‘fingerprints’ of Salmonella bacteria to identify additional cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak.
Authorities have also conducted interviews with a number of those sickened to determine what they ate and were exposed to in the week before the onset of illness.
“Preliminary information indicates that mangoes are a likely source for the Salmonella Braenderup infections,” said the CDC. “Approximately 70% of ill persons interviewed report consuming mangoes in the week before becoming ill.”
“Investigations are on-going to determine the specific type and source of mangoes that might be linked with illness,” the CDC added.
The Salmonella Braenderup outbreak is the latest produce-related food safety incident to hit the US.
Earlier this month, the CDC linked cantaloupes from an Indiana-based farm to a multi-state Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. The outbreak has sickened 178 people across 21 states to-date and killed two.
The outbreak is the second major food borne illness outbreak to be linked to contaminated cantaloupes in the last year.
In late 2011, a collaborative investigation in the pinpointed Colorado-based Jensen Farms as the source of a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that went on to infect 147 people and kill 33.