The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has joined public health officials in other states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella associated with Maradol papayas imported from Mexico.
As of August 4, a total of 109 cases in 16 states are linked to this outbreak, including two cases in Oklahoma. Thirty-five ill people have been hospitalized with one death reported in New York City. Ill people range from less than one year to 95 years of age. Of the cases, 68 percent are of Hispanic ethnicity.
Collaborative investigative efforts of public health and regulatory officials indicate that Maradol papayas imported from Mexico are a likely source of this outbreak. At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as one brand linked to the outbreak. A sticker on the Maradol papaya should say if the papaya is Caribeña brand and if it is from Mexico.
Specific recommendations regarding the recall:
Consumers should not use any of the recalled Maradol papayas and should throw them out.
• Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored (pink).
• If you aren’t sure if the papaya you bought is a Maradol papaya from Mexico, you can ask the place where you bought it.
Eating the Maradol papaya can make you sick.
• People should not eat Maradol papayas from Mexico because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
• Retailers should not sell any remaining Maradol papayas from Mexico.
• Restaurants should dispose of and not serve any remaining Maradol papayas.
Clean up thoroughly after disposing of the papayas.
• Wash and sanitize countertops, kitchen surfaces, and drawers or shelves in refrigerators where papayas were stored.
• Wash your hands with water and soap after handling the papaya.
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Individuals who have recently handled or consumed Maradol papayas and who have experienced any of these symptoms within 12 to 72 hours should contact their health care provider.