They say you learn something new everyday, and even though its not lunchtime, I am ahead of that pace today. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that several Salmonella illnesses in Western Australia have been linked to "pawpaw.":
West Australians have been warned to thoroughly wash pawpaw following several cases of food poisoning, including one in which a person required hospital treatment. The WA Department of Health issued a statement on Tuesday saying seven cases of salmonella poisoning linked to the tropical fruit had been uncovered over the past six weeks.
The first question in my mind, upon reading, was what is "pawpaw?" Thanks to Al Gore’s Internet, I have some ideas. Turns out that at least two fruit go by the name "pawpaw." The first, according to its "wiki" is native to the U.S.:
Pawpaw (Asimina) is a genus of small clustered trees with large leaves and fruit, native to North America. The genus includes the largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent. They are understory trees found in well drained deep fertile bottomland and hilly upland habitat. Pawpaw is in the same family (Annonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop, and it is the only member of that family not confined to the tropics.
Since this didn’t seem like the culprit, I pressed on to find in Australia the tropical papaya, or Carica papaya, is referred to as the "pawpaw".
So, if you have been as ignorant of these facts as I have, note a few things. First, that there is a pawpaw fruit in the U.S. Also, in Western Australia, the papaya is referred to as "pawpaw." And right now, it makes sense to make very sure your Western Australia "pawpaw" is thoroughly washed, or perhaps avoided altogether for a few days.