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August 25, 2011
WASHINGTONThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) FDA has issued an import alert regarding entry of all papaya imports from Mexico after testing showed high rates of Salmonella contamination in the fruit. To date, FDA has received reports of approximately 100 cases of Salmonella Agona in 23 states linked to the consumption of papayas imported from Mexico.
From May 12, 2011, to Aug. 18, 2011, FDA analysis found a 15.6% Salmonella contamination rate. The positive samples were from 28 different firms and include nearly all the major papaya producing regions in Mexico.
Under the import alert papayas from each source in Mexico may be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows they are not contaminated with Salmonella, such as by using private laboratories to test the papayas. FDA may consider five consecutive commercial shipments over a period of time, analyzed from a validated laboratory, as being adequate for removal from the import alert.
FDA and Mexican officials are stepping up their joint effort to trace recent contamination incidents back to their source and discover their cause or causes, in order to inform future prevention strategies. FDA and Mexican officials also are collaborating on laboratory methodologies used in Mexico for testing fresh papayas for Salmonella.
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