NJ residents getting Salmonella from fresh papayas, CDC warns
The CDC warns residents of New Jersey and several other stays have contracted Salmonella Uganda infections linked to whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.
"Do not eat, serve, or sell whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico or food that contains papaya from Mexico in these states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island," the CDC said in an advisory Friday.
So far, 62 people have been reported ill from those states as well as Texas. Twenty-three have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The CDC said the hospitalization rate in the outbreak is 66 percent among people with information available. The hospitalization rate in Salmonella outbreaks is usually around 20 percent, it said.
Most of the sick people in the outbreak are adults over 60, the CDC said.
Illnesses have occurred over the last six months — starting as early as Jan. 14 and as recently as June 8. but most took place since April.
The CDC said the source of the outbreak is likely whole, fresh papayas from the affected states.
The CDC advises residents of New Jersey any the other affected states to throw away any whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico, even if some were eaten and no one seemed to get sick.
"If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out," the CDC advised.
It also said places where papayas are stored — including countertops and refrigerator shelves — should be sanitized.
According to the USDA, consumption of food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food-borne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment.