The U.S. is detaining all papaya imports from Mexico after testing uncovered that 16 percent of the fruit was contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
As we reported last month, Mexican papayas were linked to 100 cases of Salmonella poisoning in 23 states earlier this summer, including 10 hospitalizations. In response, the Food and Drug Administration began testing papayas imported from Mexico and found the high rate of bacterial contamination.
According to the Associated Press, Mexican papayas will only be allowed back in the U.S. if Mexican exporters can show valid lab testing that proves their fruit is not contaminated.
A Texas company, Agromod Produce, recalled papayas linked to the outbreak in late July. FDA officials say they are working with the Mexican government to find sources of the contamination and ensure better papaya safety in the future. Papayas imported from Hawaii and countries other than Mexico are OK to eat.
According to the FDA, Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
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