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Salmonella in the USA - Multistate Outbreak Linked to Fruit (Papaya)

25 Jul 2017

On 21 July 2017 an outbreak of Salmonella was reported from 12 states. A total of 47 cases have been identified: 12 have been hospitalised and 1 has died.

Maradol brand papayas are the most likely source of the outbreak: these should not be eaten. If consumers are unsure of the brand of papaya, the produce should not be eaten.

As of 21 July the affected states are Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

Advice for travellers

In addition to specific advice about Maradol papayas, general food hygiene advice is approriate.

Freshly prepared, thoroughly cooked food, served piping hot, including meat and vegetables, is generally safe. Avoid leftovers or food that may have been exposed to the air for any length of time.

Be cautious with:

  • Cheese and ice cream
    • Often made from unpasteurised milk and when in doubt, these should only be bought from larger, well established retailers where quality can usually be assured.
  • Fish and shellfish
    • Can be hazardous at certain times of the year, even if well cooked. Take local advice about seafood but when in doubt it is best to avoid.
  • Salads and fresh herbs (including in drinks)
    • Should be avoided as these are easily contaminated by soil or flies and are difficult to clean.
  • Fruit (including tomatoes). Should be peeled as the skin can be contaminated by flies and insects.
    • Berries, in particular raspberries, maybe a source of Cyclospora infection.  They are difficult to wash and are best avoided.

For further information see Travellers' Diarrhoea.