Ruvalcaba said the government provided the positive salmonella results April 12. By then the load had been delivered to one wholesaler in Bronx, N.Y., who may have distributed the papayas to its customers.
The source of the contamination, Ruvalcaba said, was the water at the operation in Mexico. She said the grower added filters and additional treatments to the water to resolve the issue.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Papayas & More its Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act license Jan. 27. Ruvalcaba said Anguiano had previously been selling directly from Mexico, using a variety of growers.
Grower’s fruit refused
The Papayas & More recall was reported in an FDA enforcement report issued May 16. It indicated the grower was Empaque de Frutas Chulavista S.A. de C.V., Tecoman, Mexico.
In addition to the April 14 recall, grower Empaque de Frutas Chulavista is listed in the FDA’s May 18 import refusal report as recorded by OASIS, the FDA’s Operational and Administrative System for Import Support. The grower had shipments refused on March 8 and March 21 at the border because of salmonella.
Several other papaya growers are listed in the May OASIS report as having shipments refused because of salmonella.
FDA officials stepped up surveillance of Mexican papayas in the summer of 2011 partly because of a salmonella outbreak related to fresh Mexican papaya imports that was linked to more than 100 illnesses.
The current recalls come at the height of the Mexican deal, which is expected to last through July.