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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Grande Produce Linked to Caribeña brand Maradol Papaya Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA, CDC, MDH and other state and local officials are investigating Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson illnesses linked to Caribeña brand Maradol papayas from Mexico distributed by Grande Produce in San Juan, TX.

FDA and state partners continue to investigate the distribution of the papayas involved in this outbreak. It appears the distribution pattern of Caribeña brand Maradol papayas does not explain all of the illnesses, meaning other firms likely have distributed contaminated Maradol papayas as well. At this time, the farm(s) producing these papayas appear to only be in Mexico.

CDC reports 47 cases, 12 hospitalizations and one death from 12 states in the Salmonella Kiambu outbreak. The states involved are IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NY, PA, TX, UT and VA. CDC is working to collect additional information to determine whether the recent Salmonella Thompson illness in Maryland is part of this multistate outbreak.

On June 26, 2017, the CDC notified the FDA about a Salmonella Kiambu cluster detected by PulseNet. All 47 cases have the same pattern by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis was conducted on ten patient samples in the outbreak cluster and all were highly related. This indicates that the patients were likely sickened by the same type of food.

MDH informed the FDA, CDC and state partners that several ill people shopped at the same Baltimore retail location and purchased papayas. Records and samples of green and yellow papaya were collected. On July 17, 2017, Maryland reported that three of ten samples had preliminarily tested positive for Salmonella. All positive samples were Caribeña brand yellow Maradol papayas from Mexico; none of the green papayas were positive. However, as noted above, Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow, so consumers should not eat Caribeña brand papayas regardless of the color.

On July 19, 2017, MDH issued an advisory warning consumers not to eat Caribeña brand yellow Maradol papayas. Further WGS testing linked one of the papaya samples to the Salmonella Kiambu outbreak and another to Salmonella Thompson.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

In 2011 Mexican Papayas sickened 106 in US with Salmonella

In 2011, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collaborated with public health officials in Texas, Illinois, Georgia, and other states to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Agona infections linked to whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

A total of 106 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Agona were reported from 25 states between January 1 and August 25, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Arkansas (1), Arizona (4), California (8), Colorado (1), Georgia (8), Illinois (18), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (3), New York (9), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (25), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (2).

Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after January 17, 2011. Ill persons ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 91 years old, and the median age was 21 years old. Thirty-nine percent of patients were younger than 5 years old. Fifty-six percent were female. Eleven persons reported travel to Mexico in the week before they became ill. Ten patients were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory investigations conducted by officials in many local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies linked this outbreak to eating fresh, whole papayas imported from Mexico by Agromod Produce, Inc. of McAllen, Texas. Among 56 ill persons for whom information is available, 57% reported consuming papayas in the week before illness onset. This was significantly different compared with results from a survey of healthy persons in which 11% of persons of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity and 3% of non-Hispanic/Latino ethnicity reported consuming papaya in the 7 days before they were interviewed. Product information such as date and location of purchase of papayas was collected from ill persons and used by local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies to conduct traceback investigations. Agromod Produce, Inc. was identified as a common supplier of papayas purchased by ill persons.

Sampling of papayas by FDA as part of the outbreak investigation identified two samples with Salmonella Agona that were indistinguishable by PFGE from the outbreak strain. One sample was collected at Agromod Produce, Inc. in McAllen, Texas and the other was collected at the U.S.-Mexico border from a shipment destined for Agromod Produce, Inc. These papayas had been imported from Mexico. The shipments from which Salmonella was isolated were not distributed in the United States. FDA is working closely with Agromod Produce Inc. and with Mexican health officials to determine how the papayas became contaminated.

On July 23, 2011, Agromod Produce, Inc. of McAllen, Texas recalled fresh, whole papayas because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall included all Blondie, Yaya, Mañanita, and Tastylicious Brand papayas sold prior to July 23, 2011. These fresh, whole papayas were imported from Mexico and distributed nationwide and to Canada through retail stores and wholesalers.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Papayas Sicken 47 in 12 States with Salmonella – 1 Death

Illnesses in Iowa, 1, Kentucky, 1, Louisiana, 1, Maryland, 5, Massachusetts, 1, Minnesota, 1, New Jersey, 12, New York, 13, Pennsylvania, 4, Texas, 1, Utah, 1 and Virginia, 6.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu infections.

As of July 21, 2017, 47 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu have been reported from 12 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page. WGS showed that isolates from people infected with Salmonella Kiambu are closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to June 28, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 27. Among ill people, 67% are female. Among 31 people with available information, 18 (58%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 33 people with available information, 12 (36%) report being hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence collected to date indicate that yellow Maradol papayas are a likely source of this multistate outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.

An illness cluster in Maryland was identified. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. In Maryland, several ill people reported eating papayas purchased from the same location of a grocery store. Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson were isolated from samples collected from ill people. Investigating illness clusters provides critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there.

The Maryland Department of Health collected papayas from the grocery store associated with the illness cluster to test for Salmonella. One sample yielded the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu and another sample yielded Salmonella Thompson. Both samples were from yellow Maradol papayas. WGS showed that the Salmonella Kiambu papaya isolate is closely related genetically to the Salmonella Kiambu isolates from ill people. This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating contaminated yellow Maradol papayas. CDC is working to collect additional information to determine whether the recent Salmonella Thompson illness in Maryland is part of this multistate outbreak.

Based on the available evidence, CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell yellow Maradol papayas until we learn more.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Papayas have caused outbreaks before.  In 2011 Agromod Produce recalled papayas purchased prior to July 23 after an outbreak of Salmonella Agona had been linked to the papayas. The outbreak related illnesses began after January 16 and continued to occur over several months. On August 25, the Food and Drug Administration banned imports of papayas grown in Mexico because of widespread and ongoing salmonella contamination. More than 15 percent of fresh papayas entering the U.S. from Mexico were contaminated with Salmonella.  106 were sickened and 10 hospitalized.  See Outbreak Database – http://www.outbreakdatabase.com/details/agromod-produce-papayas-2011/?outbreak=papayas

Plast Camp Hit by E. coli

According to press reports, Plast Camp in Middlefield, Ohio is closed after two confirmed cases of E. coli.

The camp reached out to the Geauga County Health Department on Wednesday to report six kids were feeling sick. That night, one confirmed case of E. coli was confirmed.

Geauga Health suggested the camp close its swimming pool.

On Thursday, the camp reached out to the health department again to report potentially 35 sick children and to ask for guidance on how to proceed. Geauga Health suggested the camp shut down so it could be investigated. A second case of E. coli was confirmed that night.

Plast Camp (The Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine) has been in the process of sending campers home and closing the camp since Thursday. The camp is expected to be completely closed by Saturday and is being investigated by Geauga Health and the Ohio Department of Health.

The camp will be cleaning the facility while it is closed.