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Times-Union: Salmonella alert issued for yellow Maradol papayas

Albany Times-Union

Twelve states including New York are suffering a salmonella outbreak linked to yellow Maradol papayas. Ten cases and one death have been reported in New York City. A total of 47 people were infected across several states. The New York City Health Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration say the infections have been associated with eating Caribena brand yellow Maradol papayas.

Maradols are sometimes called Mexican papayas because the majority of this type of the fruit is grown there.

Consumers are advised to throw out this brand and type of papayas rather than risk eating them. “Wash and sanitize counter tops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators where any papayas were stored,” New York State Assembly Committee on Health Chair Richard Gottfried said in a statement released today, Saturday.

Salmonella is not normally fatal. Most victims recover without treatment, according to the CDC. But small children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems are more at risk. The CDC says severe bouts are rare but require a doctor’s care and antibiotics.

Symptoms usually appear 12-72 hours after someone is exposed to bacteria. Salmonella often mimics stomach flu: diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days.

“Maradol papayas are a large variety with an oval, somewhat irregular shape,” according to the online Produce Market Guide. This type of papaya is named for its “vibrant dark green skin that turns yellow when the fruit is ripe. The sweet, golden to salmon-colored flesh has a slight musky scent.”