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State Has Seen 14 Sickened By Salmonella Tainted Papaya



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A growing number of Connecticut residents appear to be reporting sickness due to consuming Mexican grown papaya that health officials say is tainted with salmonella.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Uganda infections linked to whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico and sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

At least 14 in Connecticut have reported as being sickened by the tainted fruit.

Newtown Health District Director Donna Culbert verified that Newtown Caraluzzi’s Market, Big Y, and Stop & Shop have all received notification of the recall and have taken necessary precautions. Precautions include removing the specific affected brand of papaya from their shelves.

“Customers may still find papaya on store shelves, but the brands will not be affected by the recall,” Ms Culbert said.

Local district food inspection specialist Suzette LaBlanc said that more recently, vegetables have been a greater concern when it comes to outbreaks. With all produce — fruits or veggies — Ms LaBlanc said consumers should follow prescribed preparation, handling, serving, and storage practices as recommended by the district.

For more information, call 203-270-4291.

According to the CDC, consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island who have whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico in their homes should not eat them. The agency advises consumers to throw any papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick.

The agency further advises consumers to not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico.

“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,” a CDC spokesperson added. “Consumers should also wash and sanitize places where papayas were stored: counter tops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.”

The FDA strongly advises importers, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, retailers, and other food service providers from all states to hold whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

Consumers should take the following action if you have symptoms of a Salmonella infection:

*Talk to your healthcare provider;

*Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick;

*Report your illness to the Newtown Health District or Connecticut Department of Public Health;

*Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

As of noontime on July 2, 62 have been diagnosed with the strain of salmonella tied to the papaya and 23 people have been hospitalized across the affected areas.

No deaths attributed to Salmonella have been reported to date.

For more information from the CDC, CLICK HERE

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