A Salmonella outbreak linked to Cavi brand fresh, whole papayas imported from Mexico has ended with 81 people sick and 27 hospitalized, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) final report. The Cavi brand papayas linked to the outbreak are no longer on the market.
Although the outbreak began in January 2019, most of the cases occurred between April and July 2019. The last illness was reported on July 16, 2019. Two-thirds of case-patients, who ranged in age from less than one to 90 years old, were Hispanic.
At around 30 percent, the hospitalization rate for this outbreak is higher than the average, which is normally about 20 percent. One reason may be that the outbreak strain showed antibiotic resistance during genetic tests, meaning some of these infections were more severe and difficult to treat.
The nine states that reported illnesses and their case totals are: CT (15), DE (1), FL (2), MA (6), NJ (22), NY (29), PA (4), RI (1), TX (1).
During their investigation of the outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC used traceback and epidemiologic evidence to identify the food source. Seventy-four percent of the people interviewed reported eating papayas in the week before they became ill. The FDA collected records from the grocery stores where these people shopped and found that Cavi brand papayas imported from Mexico and distributed in the U.S. by Agroson’s LLC of The Bronx, New York, N.Y. were the likely source of the outbreak.
The FDA requested that Agroson’s issue a recall for the papayas, but the company refused. Taking matters into its own hands the FDA contacted all of Agroson’s wholesale customers to ensure the fruit was no longer sold. The outbreak also prompted the FDA to issue an advisory to the papaya industry about its Salmonella problem. The Cavi brand papaya outbreak marked the eighth time in eight years that a Salmonella outbreak was linked to papayas imported from Mexico. These outbreaks were responsible for more than 500 illnesses, 100 hospitalizations and two deaths.
The Salmonella lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have represented people from all over the country and in every major outbreak for the last two decades. If you were sickened in this outbreak, we want to help. For a free consultation, call 1 (888) 377-8900 (toll-free), send a text to 612-261-0856 or complete the form below and put our winning Salmonella Team to work for you.