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Mexican papayas with salmonella sicken 11 on LI, officials say

Salmonella in papayas has sickened 11 people on

Salmonella in papayas has sickened 11 people on Long Island, officials said. Photo Credit: jar via Flickr Creative Commons

Salmonella has sickened 11 people on Long Island after they ate yellow maradol papayas traced to a farm in southern Mexico, health officials said Wednesday.

The outbreak, first reported two weeks ago, has sickened 109 people in 16 states as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eight cases have been reported in Nassau County and three in Suffolk, local health officials said.

There have been 10 cases, one of them a fatality, in New York City, according to the most recent statistics on the city’s Department of Health website. In New York State overall, 36 cases are being investigated, according to the state health department.

Most people infected with the salmonella bacteria develop symptoms — including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps — within 12 to 72 hours, health officials say.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover, health officials say.

The Carica de Campeche farm in Campeche, Mexico, appears to be the source of this outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The farm is on the Gulf of Mexico side of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Cases in New York State have nearly tripled since the last report on July 21, and New Jersey cases have more than doubled, to 26. Virginia has had 11 cases, Pennsylvania seven and Maryland six.

Connecticut and Minnesota each have had four cases, and Massachusetts has had three.

Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oklahoma have reported two cases, and Delaware, Louisiana Michigan and Wisconsin have had one each.

The FDA said it is working with Mexican food safety authorities to conduct inspections and other follow-up activities.

The Campeche farm has been added to an import alert, which allows FDA field personnel to stop fresh produce from entering the United States from the farm until it proves it has resolved issues that caused the bacterial contamination.

It was not immediately clear how the papaya was contaminated, an FDA spokesman said.

The CDC said laboratory evidence using genetic testing has connected some of the illnesses to papaya from the farm.

So far the Caribeña, Cavi and Valery brands of maradol papayas have been recalled, but the CDC now recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve and retailers not sell maradol papayas from Mexico.

With The Associated Press

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of salmonella cases in New York City.

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