Whole Papayas Linked to Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak
The CDC is advising consumers in six Eastern states to avoid buying fresh papayas from Mexico due to potential salmonella contamination that's already sickened dozens and sent 23 people to the hospital. The states where the affected papaya was sold include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Since January, 62 people have been infected across eight states including Texas and Florida. 76 percent of the infected people report eating papayas grown in Mexico, according to the CDC’s report.
If you live in one of these states and have papaya from Mexico (including in fresh fruit salads or other mixes), you should throw them away immediately, even if no one has gotten sick. The CDC is also recommending that you sanitize the area where the papaya was stored, as salmonella bacteria is transferable. (Here’s a step-by-step guide.)
If you’re unsure where your papaya was grown, check with the store where you purchased it, or throw it out. If you’ve recently eaten papaya from Mexico and/or are experiencing any symptoms of Salmonella—including diarrhea, fever, or stomach cramps—report it to your doctor and the health department. Those with compromised immune systems, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly, are at higher risk of developing a more severe illness.
This investigation is ongoing, and we will keep you updated with more information as it becomes available.