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More papayas with Salmonella; Bravo Produce recalls fruit

Editor’s note: Because the Salmonella outbreaks traced to fresh papayas have effected a disproportionate number of Hispanic people, we are providing this link to the FDA’s recall notice in Spanish. Please share it with people you know who may not be aware of the outbreak and recalls. Bravo Produce Inc. Retira Maradol Papaya de Productores y Exportadores de Carica Papaya de Tecomán y Costa Alegre SPR de RL y empacadas por Frutas Selectas de Tijuana, S. de R.L. de C.V. Por posible riesgo a la salud

Maradol papayas imported from Mexico by Bravo Produce Inc. have tested positive for Salmonella and are being recalled in relation to an ongoing outbreak traced to whole, fresh papayas grown on Mexican farms.

Bravo sent the papayas to retailers and wholesalers in California between Aug. 10 and Aug. 29, according to the recall notice posted Sunday on the Food and Drug Administration website. The federal agency notified the importer on Friday that some  fruit it had not yet distributed had tested positive for Salmonella bacteria.

The recalled fruit was grown by Productores y Exportadores de Carica Papaya de Tecomán y Costa Alegre SPR of RL and packed by Frutas Selectas de Tijuana, S. de RL de CV. It is the fourth Mexican farm identified in the FDA’s ongoing outbreak investigation.

Bravo is referring to the recall as “a preventive measure.” Papayas from the other three Mexican farms were contaminated with outbreak strains of Salmonella bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Sunday evening, the CDC had not posted any information regarding the specific Salmonella bacteria detected in fruit imported by Bravo Produce, which is based in San Ysidro, CA.

The CDC and FDA have already warned consumers, restaurants and retailers not to eat, serve or sell maradol papayas from the other three farms: Carica de Campeche, Caraveo Produce and El Zapotanito farms in Mexico.

Papayas from those three farms have been directly linked to 201 people in 23 states who have been sickened with Salmonella infections in recent months. One outbreak victim has died and 65 had to be admitted to hospitals for treatment, according to the CDC’s most recent information, which was posted Sept. 1.

Bravo Produce reports the papayas it has recalled have stickers from the packing company, Frutas Selectas de Tijuana. The papayas are packed in boxes that also bear the packing company’s name.

The recalled papayas sold by Bravo Produce can be identified by the following product codes, which can be found on the side of the packing boxes:

1222335215
1222635220
1222335216
1223035223
1223335227
1223835233
1222235215
1222535220
1222235216
1222835223
1223435230
1222235216
1222935223
1222135214
1222935223
1222935223
1222135214
1222235216
1222935223
1223035223
1222935221
1223035223
1223835233

“All consignees of the product have been notified, via telephone and email, to remove and destroy the papayas that are on store shelves and other commercial places. Supervision for withdrawal effectiveness is already underway by FDA,” according to the recall notice.

Bravo Produce Inc. will take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its imported products, according to the recall notice. It will send samples to a private laboratory authorized by FDA for the detection of Salmonella. The company says it is also cooperating with FDA in its investigation and will provide all possible assistance.

Consumers who may have bought papayas from Productores y Exportadores de Carica Papaya de Tecoman y Costa Alegre S.P.R. de R.L and with the packing label of Frutas Selectas de Tijuana, S. de R.L. of C.V. are advised not to consume them. The FDA and CDC urge people to dispose of them so that won’t accidentally be eaten by other people or animals.

Advice to consumers, restaurants and retailers
Additional recommendations from CDC include:

  • If you have had whole, fresh papayas in your home or business, wash and sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils, as well as drawers or shelves in refrigeratorswhere papayas were stored, 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 your hands with running water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

Anyone who has eaten fresh papaya recently and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection is urged to seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure so the proper diagnostic tests can be performed.

Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and fever.

Symptoms usually begin between 12 to 36 hours after exposure, but they may begin as early as 6 hours or as late as 72 hours after exposure.

Symptoms can be mild or severe and commonly last for two to seven days. Salmonella can infect anyone, but young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections.

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