Friday, July 5, 2019, the FDA and CDC updated their websites concerning the multistate outbreak of Salmonella Uganda associated with whole, fresh papaya.
What is new?
- Epidemiological and traceback information collected thus far in the investigation indicates Agroson’s LLC in Bronx, NY is the exclusive distributor of imported papayas that likely made consumers from this outbreak ill. The papayas are sold under the brand name Cavi. No positive product samples have been found to date.
- FDA has asked for the products to be recalled though no recall has been issued yet. FDA will update their advisory with a list of recalled products should the firm issue a recall.
- At this point, no other distributors of papaya’s are implicated in this outbreak.
- FDA has narrowed its recommendations from its June 28, 2019 from a general “hold” of all imported Mexican papaya’s to a recommendation for consumers to not eat Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas and to throw them away if they have them at home. Restaurants and retailers have been advised by FDA to not sell or serve whole, fresh Cavi brand papayas sourced from Agroson’s LLC. Additionally, consumers have been advised that all other brands of whole, fresh papayas are safe to consume.
- CDC has also updated their advice to consumers, retailers, distributors and foodservice operations. In parallel to FDA, CDC warns consumers not to eat any Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas. Restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve Cavi brand papayas. This is a change from June 28th when CDC advised consumers not to consume any Mexican papayas. CDC also adds that any places where Cavi brand papayas were stored; e.g. countertops or refrigerator drawers or shelves should be washed and sanitized to avoid potential cross contamination.
- To date, there have been 71 cases across 8 states, 27 hospitalizations and no deaths.
For further detail, you can check the FDA (fda.gov) or CDC (cdc.gov) websites. We will continue to monitor the FDA investigation and update you as appropriate.
On June 28, 2019, PMA participated in a call with the CDC and FDA where it was announced they are actively investigating another multistate outbreak of Salmonella related to whole, fresh papaya. At this time the current information implicates papaya imported from Mexico and involves Salmonella Uganda, an uncommon serotype within the U.S. CDC is reporting a current epidemiologically connected illness count of 62 reported clinical cases, with at least 23 reported hospitalizations and no deaths. These cases encompass 6 focus states (CT, MA, NY, RI, NJ, and PA,). Additional cases involve residents of FL and TX but the point of consumption exposure was determined to most likely be one of the focal states. The illness onset dates range from January 14, 2019 – June 8, 2019 with a majority of cases being reported in mid-April. Of the 62 reported cases, 10 were reported to the CDC in the past week.
The CDC has issued a public notice to consumers in CT, MA, NY, RI, NJ and PA, to not consume whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico. They are also advising restaurants and retailers in these six states to not serve or sell whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico. The reported case from Florida traveled to Connecticut in the week before they reported becoming ill, so at this time Florida is excluded from CDC’s public notice. The CDC is also investigating the reported case from Texas and their travel.
The FDA has issued a statement recommending a country-wide hold on all whole, fresh papaya imported from Mexico. They have also recommended an increase in import screening of papaya. We have historically seen with Salmonella outbreaks related to papaya that regulatory agencies increase their surveillance testing. Therefore, it is possible there will be additional sources of Salmonella identified though not necessarily Salmonella Uganda nor connected in timeframe or distribution channels to the on-going outbreak. The industry should be aware that this could result in secondary recalls. This is just a point of awareness and the only suggested action is to re-affirm your recall system and team should history repeat itself.
PMA will continue to follow the investigation and will provide updates as new information becomes available.