Agromod Produce of McAllen, Texas, is recalling all of its papayas because the tropical fruit may be infected with Salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration announced July 23. The papayas were imported from Mexico and are possibly linked to 97 reported cases of Salmonella agona, including 10 hospitalizations, in 23 states.
Recent sampling by the FDA found the outbreak strain in two papaya samples at the company and at the U.S. border bound for Agromod, a company founded in 2005 that distributes papayas only. (The shipments that tested positive with the outbreak strain were not distributed in the U.S.)
The fresh, whole papayas were sold at retail stores and wholesalers in Canada as well as the U.S. (As of July 25, Agromod's homepage still touted the slogan: “Papaya: A Healthy Idea to Enjoy” and made no mention of the recall.)
The recall includes all Blondie, Yaya, Mañanita and Tastylicious brand papayas sold before July 23, 2011. Each Blondie brand papaya can be identified by a blue and orange sticker label with green and white lettering on the fruit that states Blondie 4395 Mexico. The Yaya brand papayas can be identified by a yellow, red, orange and green label with white, green and red lettering that reads Yaya Premium Papayas Yaya PLU-4395 Mexico. Each Mañanita brand papaya can be identified by a green, yellow and red sticker label that states Mexico Mañanita 4395. The Tastylicious brand papayas can be identified by a white and blue sticker with red and white lettering that states 4395 Tastylicious MEXICO.
Papayas imported from Hawaii and countries other than Mexico are OK to eat.
According to the FDA's statement, 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.
If you've got some of this fruit in your house, the FDA urges you to return it to the place of purchase for a refund. If you have questions or concerns, call Agromod at (800) 385-7658, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. CST.