Salmonella Kaimbu outbreak in US linked to Maradol papayas - WSMV News 4

Salmonella Kaimbu outbreak in US linked to Maradol papayas

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Maradol Papaya: Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored. (CDC) Maradol Papaya: Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored. (CDC)

(MEREDITH) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Wednesday to consumers, urging them to avoid Caribeña brand Maradol papayas because they are linked to an outbreak of Salmonella.

Several government agencies are involved in the investigation of the outbreak of the Kaimbu strain of Salmonella. The Center for Disease Control reports the outbreak has infected 47 people across 12 states as of July 21, 2017, with 12 hospitalizations and one death. The illnesses were reported between May 17 and June 28 of 2017.

According to the FDA, the states involved in the outbreak so far are Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The Salmonella Kaimbu outbreak has been linked to Caribeña brand Maradol papayas, after papaya samples taken by the Maryland Department of Health in Baltimore tested positive for the Kaimbu. The investigation is still ongoing, as some cases of the illness are not explained by the distribution of the contaminated papayas, and there is an outbreak of the Thompson strain of Salmonella that could be related as well.

From the FDA’s press release on the outbreak:

The FDA is warning consumers to avoid all Caribeña brand Maradol papayas. Grande Produce has informed the FDA that the company initiated a limited recall of their Caribeña brand Maradol papayas distributed nationwide from July 7 - July 18, 2017. As of July 25, 2017, Grande Produce has not issued a press release to notify consumers of their recall. Therefore, FDA is advising consumers to avoid all Caribeña brand Maradol papayas. The FDA also noted that there are illnesses in states where Grande Produce did not distribute papayas and is continuing its investigation.

The CDC is recommending that people avoid Maradol papayas from Mexico, and the FDA is continuing it’s investigation to trace the contamination to its source. As more brands of papaya are connected to the outbreak, they will be announced.

Here's more guidance from the CDC:

At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as one brand linked to the outbreak. Additional brands will be announced as the information becomes available.

  • Maradol papayas have a green skin that turns yellow as the fruit ripens.
  • A sticker on the Maradol papaya should say if the papaya is Caribeña brand and if it is from Mexico.
  • If you aren’t sure if the papaya you bought is a Maradol papaya from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers can ask their supplier.
  • When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.
  • Wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators where papayas were stored.

The FDA offers this information about Salmonella on their website:

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella Infection?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

How Soon After Exposure do Symptoms Appear?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Who is at Risk?

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. Children younger than five, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not eat Caribeña brand Maradol papayas from Mexico and should throw away any such products they have in their home. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer whether they use Caribeña brand Maradol papayas and if so, avoid eating those products. At this time, CDC recommends people should not eat Maradol papayas from Mexico while the traceback investigation is ongoing.

For refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with the potentially contaminated papayas, it is very important that the consumers thoroughly clean and sanitize these areas and items.

Consumers should follow these simple steps:

  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or new paper towel.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator immediately and clean the refrigerator regularly.
  • Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitization process.  
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