The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported four separate outbreaks of Salmonella associated with Maradol papayas from Mexico.
At least 78 people (33%) have been hospitalized in the outbreak, and two people have died in New York City and California.
The death in California was linked to papayas that were packed in Tijuana, Mexico and imported to the U.S. by Bravo Produce Inc. of San Ysidro. The papayas were shipped to wholesale markets in California and other states between August 10 and August 29, 2017.
The outbreak has hit mostly Hispanic communities. Consumers should throw out papayas if they are not sure where it is from, the CDC said.
The Salmonella outbreak is linked to Maradol papayas from several regions in Mexico, including Campeche, Colima, Jalisco, and Baja California.
There have been recalls for Caribeña® papayas (Grande Produce), Cavi® papayas (Agrosons), Valery® papayas (Freshtex Produce), and Frutas Selectas® (Bravo Produce).
Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weights 3 pounds or more. They have green skin that turns yellow when the fruit is ripe. The inside of the papaya is pink or salmon-colored.
Salmonella typically causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. The symptoms can last for up to 7 days and most people recover without needing medical treatment.
Salmonella can spread beyond the intestines and cause a life-threatening bloodstream infection (sepsis). The risk is highest for children, older adults, and people with weak immune system.