More people sickened by salmonella in papayas

The affected fruit can be identified by the PLU sticker cavi MEXICO 4395

They include the Caribeña brand, distributed by Grande Produce and Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson's.

Valery brand, distributed from July 10-13.

The agency is telling consumers to avoid maradol papayas branded Valery, Cavi or Caribeña and to avoid all papayas from Carica de Campeche.

The outbreak, first reported two weeks ago, was traced to the Carica de Campeche farm in Campeche, which sits between the Gulf and Guatemala.

Thirty-six people in NY and 26 in New Jersey have been infected; the other 47 have been sickened in 12 other states.

Freshtex Produce LLC has ceased importing papayas from the grower, Carica de Campeche, and said it is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its imported produce.

Anyone who thinks they may have one of these brands should immediately throw the fruit away.

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"For refrigerators and other food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with potentially contaminated papayas, it is very important that the consumers thoroughly clean and sanitize these areas and items", they said.

Anyone who has eaten fresh papaya recently and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection is urged to seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure so the proper diagnostic tests can be performed. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The illness can be more severe when contracted by young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

According to the CDC, there have been 109 cases of salmonella poisoning, 35 of which required hospitalization across 16 states.

The Campeche farm has been added to an import alert which allows FDA field personnel to stop fresh produce from entering the US from the farm until it's proven to have resolved issues that caused the bacterial contamination.

The FDA wrote on its website that since 2011, papayas from Mexico are screened at the border for salmonella by third-party laboratories and that documentation verifying completion of testing and negative results is required to enter the U.S.

Editor's note: Because of the popularity of papayas in Mexican and Hispanic cuisine, public health officials say people in those groups are at particular risk during the current outbreak.

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