Freshtex Produce Recalls "Valery" Brand Maradol Papayas Distributed in IL

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The agency is telling consumers to avoid maradol papayas branded Valery, Cavi or Caribeña and to avoid all papayas from Carica de Campeche.

One person in New York City died and 35 were sick enough to be hospitalized by the fruit in the last two weeks.

States now affected include Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

None of the brands were specifically Cavi brand, but as a precaution FDA officials recommended a recall of all of the papayas imported in the month of July from this farm. However, the product may have been further distributed outside the state of IL.

Freshtex distributes the Valery brand, Agroson's the Cavi brand and Grand Produce the Caribeña brand.

In addition, the FDA also encourages consumers to ask stores and restaurants where their papayas came from before buying them.

The company notes that the fruit was available for sale to retail customers until July 31. According to the FDA, 109 people have been infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kiambu (48) or Salmonella Thompson (61).

Additional victims are expected to be identified because people who became ill after July 10 might not yet be included in the CDC's numbers because of the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Freshtex, Grande Produce and Agroson's have ceased importation of papayas from Carica de Campeche.

"Consumers who may have purchased the Valery brand papayas are advised to dispose of them". Wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators where papayas were stored.

The Campeche farm has been added to an import alert which allows FDA field personnel to stop fresh produce from entering the USA from the farm until it's proven to have resolved issues that caused the bacterial contamination.

The FDA wrote on its website that since 2011, papayas from Mexico are screened at the border for salmonella by third-party laboratories and that documentation verifying completion of testing and negative results is required to enter the U.S.

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

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