EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — If you’re a fan of papayas, you may not want to purchase some anytime soon.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is alerting everyone of a salmonella outbreak linked to whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico. The alert affects anyone who lives in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida or Texas.
The CDC says 62 people in eight states have become sickened by salmonella after eating papaya, including one case in Rhode Island and five in Massachusetts.
The illnesses were reported between Jan. 14 and June 8, with most of the illnesses reported in April. No one has died in the outbreak, but 23 people have been hospitalized.
The CDC asks everyone in the affected states to take these precautions when looking to purchase or eat papaya:
- Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico.
- If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out.
- Wash and sanitize places where papayas were stored, including countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advises importers, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, retailers and other food service providers from all states to hold whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.