(UPDATED COVERAGE: Sept. 11) As the Mexican mango season ends, the investigation of a salmonella outbreak linked to Daniella-brand mangoes appears to be far from finished, with hard evidence of the pathogen on Mexican Daniella mangoes elusive.
The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local officials were still investigating the multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup as of Sept. 6.
One FDA official, speaking anonymously, said the traceback investigation was still continuing but FDA officials had not yet sent a team to Mexico.
FDA spokesman Sebastian Cianci said officials in California, Canada and at the FDA continue to work to identify other brands and sources of mangoes that may be associated with the illnesses in the U.S.
“Daniella-brand mangoes are a product of Mexico, and therefore FDA is working with the Mexican officials to determine what may have occurred there or elsewhere in the distribution chain that could have contributed to this ongoing outbreak,” Cianci said in a Sept. 6 e-mail.
Armando Celis, spokesman for EMEX, the association of Mexican mango exporters, said in a Sept. 7 e-mail that he was unaware of what FDA or Mexican authorities have discovered so far in the salmonella investigation. He said Mexican mango growers have had food safety and traceability practices in place for ten years.
Celis said it was too early to know the economic impact of the voluntary food safety recall on the mango export season. Up to Aug. 31, he said Mexico has exported 500.9 million pounds mangoes to the U.S. since February. That is up 3.6% over the same period a year ago.
Mexico’s National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality said in an Aug. 29 release that there was insufficient evidence to establish an association between the consumption of certain types of mangoes and the presence of infections caused by the Salmonella type Braenderup. The release said Mexico’s food safety authorities would be taking environmental, water and product samples at the Agricola Daniella mango facility in Sinaloa but did not say when the results of those tests would be released.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sept. 6 that Salmonella Braenderup infections in 105 people from 16 states had been reported to PulseNet. The infections were mostly concentrated in California.
The CDC reported 25 hospitalizations but no deaths as a result of the outbreak.