Nearly a dozen U.S. retailers have recalled Mexican mangoes for potential Salmonella contamination as federal and state health officials investigate the cause of a multistate Salmonella Braenderup outbreak that has sickened over 100 people.
The recalls come just days after Canadian health officials announced a 22 person outbreak from an identical strain of Salmonella linked to mangoes imported from Mexico. Over the weekend, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalled Daniella brand mangoes that were sold between July 12 and August 14. According to CFIA, the individual fruit may have a sticker referencing PLU 4959.
According to a roundup of retailers at eFoodAlert, Copps, Giant Food, Mariano’s, Martin’s Food Market, Metro Market, Pick’n Save, Rainbow, Stop & Shop, TOP Food & Drug and Costco have all recalled Daniella brand mangoes from Mexico over concerns about Salmonella contamination. Most of the recalls list only PLU 4959, but TOP Food & Drug also lists PLUs 3114, 4051, 4311 and 4584 in their recall.
Produce importers and distributors Charlie’s Produce — based in Washington state — and Splendid Products — based in California — also recalled Daniella mangoes, but Splendid listed different PLU numbers on their website for consumers www.splendidmangoes.com (which was given to Food Safety News via an answering service). Splendid listed PLUs 4312 and 4961 as well as four other numbers recalled by TOP, but did not list 4311 in their recall.
The company has not responded to questions about which states and retailers their product was shipped to. The label and box photos supplied by Splendid indicate that Primus Labs was involved with the company’s food safety and traceability scheme.
Primus Labs was also the auditor for Jensen Farms, the Colorado cantaloupe grower at the center of the 2011 Listeria outbreak now blamed for 33 deaths.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe there are around 101 reported cases of Salmonella Braenderup that may be linked to imported mangoes. According to eFoodAlert, those illnesses have been reported in the following states: California (75), Oregon (1), Washington (6), Texas (2) and New York (3).
Of the patients who have been interviewed in California, 67 percent reported eating mangoes, according to California Department of Public Health spokesman Matt Conens, but state officials said they have not yet identified specific mango brand or source yet.
Washington state spokesman Donn Moyer told Food Safety News Tuesday that while state officials do not have a conclusive link between those ill with the outbreak strain and consumption of mangoes, it is very unusual to see such an uptick in illnesses from that particular strain. Washington state has not reported anyone sickened with the same strain of Salmonella since the end of July.
California health officials said they are coordinating with other states, CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as Canadian health officials.
CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell confirmed that, as of Tuesday, California was taking the lead on the investigation, but federal officials were likely to “move forward within a few days.” Russell said that CDC would post an outbreak update as soon as more information is available.
“FDA is engaged in this investigation, which has been a fast-moving outbreak,” said FDA spokeswoman Patricia El-Hinnawy. “Once FDA became involved we began coordinating with the state of California, which is leading the investigation, to get up to speed on the progress of their investigation. Once we can examine the information the state has collected first hand, we can make decisions on our next steps.”
Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a common foodborne illness that can be life-threatening, particularly to small children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems such as people undergoing chemotherapy.
Symptoms — which include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills and vomiting — usually begin between 8 and 72 hours of consuming contaminated food. Anyone exhibiting symptoms and concerned they may have a foodborne illness should contact a healthcare provider.