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More Mamey Pulp Recalled over Typhoid Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday issued an update on the nationwide recall of frozen mamey fruit pulp for Salmonella Typhi contamination yesterday, adding a second company’s frozen mamey pulp product to the list of foods recalled this week.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 9 people in California and Nevada have become ill with typhoid fever infections after eating the Salmonella Typhi-contaminated mamey pulp.  Outbreak victims reported consuming mamey fruit pulp, including mamey fruit smoothies at juice stands.

mamey-shake2-featured.jpgThe frozen mamey fruit pulp was sold under the La Nuestra brand by Montalvan Sales Inc. Ontario, Calif, and under the Goya brand by Goya Foods Inc. Secaucus, New Jersey. Goya Foods Issued an earlier recall of frozen mamey pulp on August 12. The two companies get their mamey fruit from a common supplier in Guatemala.

Both the Goya and La Nuestra products are sold frozen. The Goya product is sold in 14-ounce packages in retail stores nationwide.  All production lot codes are being recalled. The UPC is 041331090803.

The La Nuestra brand mamey pulp comes in a 14-ounce plastic package.  All lot numbers are affected by this recall, however, packages produced prior to May 2009 are not identified with a lot number and are subject to this recall as well.  The UPC is 7-56869-10008-4.

Mamey fruit–sometimes referred to as “zapote”–is large and round, has brown skin and a fleshy orange pulp. It is grown mainly in the tropical lowlands of Central America and is very popular among the Hispanic community, especially in juices and fruit shakes (called “batidos”).

Anyone who purchased the product is encouraged to discard the mamey pulp.  Consumers also are being urged to find out what brand of mamey products are being used in drinks prepared at juice stands and stores.

Typhoid fever is also known as enteric fever.  The onset of symptoms usually occurs between 5 and 21 days after ingestion of Salmonela typhi bacteria.  Symptoms may include constipation, cough, sore throat, headache, and a rash on the infected individual’s chest, as well as the slowing of the heartbeat and enlargement of the liver and spleen.  

According to the CDC, healthcare providers use antibiotics to treat typhoid fever.  Ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin are all used to treat patients with the disease.  Patients who receive antibiotics usually begin to feel better within a few days, and deaths rarely occur among patients who have received antibiotics. If the illness goes untreated, however, as many as 20 percent of people who have fever for weeks or months may die from complications of the infection.  

The CDC Website states:  “Even if your symptoms seem to go away, you may still be carrying S. Typhi. If so, the illness could return, or you could pass the disease to other people. In fact, if you work at a job where you handle food or care for small children, you may be barred legally from going back to work until a doctor has determined that you no longer carry any typhoid bacteria.”

To prevent the spread of typhoid fever, it is important for individuals who are taking prescribed antibiotics to continue taking them for as long as their doctor has indicated and to wash hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom.  

People with typhoid fever–or any Salmonella infection–should not prepare or serve food for others.  

Doctors will perform a series of stool cultures to ensure no Salmonella Typhi bacteria remain in a patient’s body.  Only after several negative test results can a person prepare food for others.

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