More than 210 people have been sickened and at least one person has died from a multi-state outbreak of salmonella that federal health officials have linked to maradol papayas from Mexico.
CNN reports that the salmonella illness has spread to at least 26 states, with a majority of the cases coming from California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas. Other states affected are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging consumers not to eat recalled maradol papayas from Carica de Campeche, Rancho El Ganadero, El Zapotanito, Productores y Exportadores de Carica Papaya de Tecomán y Costa Alegre farms in Mexico.
The FDA has increased testing of papayas from Mexico to determine if fruit from other farms or distributors could be contaminated. If the FDA finds salmonella in other shipments, it will take appropriate action.
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Symptoms of salmonella illness include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Most recover without treatment, though the illness usually lasts four to seven days.
The Maradol papaya is a large, oval fruit typically weighing 3 or more pounds. The inside flesh of the fruit is salmon-colored, and the outside has green skin that turns yellow when ripe, according to CNN.