CDC warns CT residents after salamonella outbreak: "Throw the papayas away"
Connecticut is among the states named in a multi-state outbreak of salmonella linked to whole, fresh papaya imported from Mexico, according to an announcement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the outbreak linked to papayas sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. There have been cases in Texas and Florida as well.
“This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated when more information is available,” the CDC said.
There have been 62 cases reported in eight states, with 23 people being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported as a result of this outbreak, the CDC said. A formal recall has not been issued as of Friday. Of the 62 cases, 24 are in New York, 14 in Connecticut, 12 in New Jersey, five in Massachusetts, four in Pennsylvania and one each in Florida, Rhode Island and Texas.
The illnesses linked to these 62 cases started on dates ranging from Jan. 14 through June 8, the CDC said, adding that most of the cases have been reported since April.
The CDC said its advising consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island not to eat any whole, fresh papayas from Mexico.
“Throw the papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said. “Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico. If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out.”
The agency urged anyone with papayas in their home in the affected areas should sanitize places where papayas were stored.
The FDA strongly advises importers, suppliers, distributors, restaurants, retailers and other food service provides from all states to hold whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.
The CDC said symptoms of a possible salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms often start to surface between 12 and 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria. The illness typically lasts between four and seven days; most people recover without medical treatment.
In some cases, the illness can be severe enough to send a person to the hospital. The CDC said a salmonella infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, then to other areas of the body. Those more prone to having a severe illness include children under the age of 5, pregnant women, adults over the age of 65 and anyone with a weakened immune system.
The full announcement can be read here.