The Food and Drug Administration has announced a ban on all papayas grown in Mexico because of widespread contamination of Mexican papaya with Salmonella.
Mexican papayas have been linked to approximately 100 cases of Salmonella Agona in 23 U.S. states, resulting in at least 10 people hospitalized.
The FDA has analyzed samples of papaya imported from Mexico from May 12, 2011, to August 18, 2011, and found Salmonella in 33 samples out of a total of 211, or a 15.6% positive rate. The positive samples were from 28 different firms and include nearly all the major papaya producing regions in Mexico.
According to the FDA alert, to gain future U.S. entry, papaya producers will have to prove that shipments of papaya are not contaminated with salmonella using laboratory analysis. The FDA will consider five consecutive salmonella-free shipments over a period of time to allow re-entry.
The FDA claims state public health agencies conducted interviews of cases to identify the sources of papaya purchased by cases and used that information for tracebacks in multiple states. Based on information from the outbreak investigation, the outbreak has been associated with papaya from at least one grower and its shipper in Mexico.
Up to 111 people in 31 states were recently infected with an outbreak of Salmonella found in ground turkey made by Cargill — an increase from the 76 cases in 26 states we reported on in early August. Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey — one of the largest meat recalls in history.
Food Safety News reports another lawsuit has been filed against Cargill as a result of its ground turkey recall.
“The lawsuit alleges that Cargill was aware that Salmonella Heidelberg had been detected at its Springdale, Arkansas plant as far back as 2010, if not as early as 2007 and that the company failed to alert consumers of the potential danger, issue a recall of products that it knew to be contaminated, or reasonably act to prevent consumers of its products from becoming infected and sickened by Salmonella Heidelberg”.