The Grapevine

Papayas Contaminated With Salmonella Are Circulating In 8 US States, CDC Warns

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants residents in eight states to temporarily stop eating papayas imported from Mexico due to a possibly widespread salmonella contamination. A recent food safety alert warns that the fruit already caused 62 cases of infection in the U.S.

The affected papayas are being sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, the agency said. At least 23 people have been hospitalized amid the outbreak. 

The CDC issued the warning after the cases of salmonella infection continued to increase since April. The latest patient was admitted on June 8, Business Insider first reported.

Officials recommended that consumers "throw the papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick." The CDC also encourages people to avid fruit salads or other mixes that may include papayas from Mexico. 

"If you aren't sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase,” the agency said. “When in doubt, don't eat the papaya. Throw it out."

In addition, to those who have papayas in their houses, the CDC said the areas where the fruit was stored must be washed and sanitized, including countertops and refrigerator drawers, to clear salmonella. 

Salmonella in the U.S.

Estimates show that up to 1.2 million Americans are infected by the salmonella bacteria every year across the country. Infections have also been linked to 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths.

A person may contract the disease by eating contaminated food. The ongoing outbreak has been linked to the type of bacteria called Salmonella uganda.

The bacteria may spread from eggs, dairy products, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices and nuts. Salmonella infection commonly causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. 

In 2018, a salmonella outbreak was caused by the herbal supplement kratom. The incident affected 132 people in 38 states across the country.

The CDC also previously warned that cuddling with pet hedgehogs could spread the infection. For the current outbreak associated to imported papayas, the agency said investigation is ongoing.

Children under 5 years of age and older people are at a higher risk of contracting the infection due to their weaker immune system.

papaya The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued food safety alert calling on residents from eight states to avoid papayas imported from Mexico due to salmonella contamination. Pixabay