( Courtesy FDA )

The Food and Drug Administration has named Cavi brand whole fresh maradol papayas distributed by Agroson’s LLC, Bronx, N.Y., as the likely source of 71 cases of Salmonella Uganda.

In doing so, the FDA said all other papaya is safe to consume, reversing a June 28 advisory to foodservice and retailers to place a hold on all Mexican papayas.

In naming the specific brand, the FDA said all other papayas are OK to distribute and consume. Epidemiological and traceback information pointed investigators to the Cavi brand fruit, although there have been no positive product samples.

The grower has not been named. 

The FDA released the suspected link to Cavi brand from Agroson’s on July 5. As of July 7, there was no recall information on the company’s Facebook page or the FDA recall website.

“The FDA has consulted with the firm on the possibility of a recall,” according to the FDA’s notice. “Should that happen, the FDA will update this advisory, including any recalled products, as more information becomes available.”

“The FDA has asked the firm to recall its Cavi brand papayas,” according to the FDA. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the agency has the authority to force the company to issue a recall.

The FDA does not suspect papayas from other distributors are involved, and reported that restaurants, retailers and other establishments can serve and sell papayas from Mexico and other countries as long as they are not Cavi brand fruit.

“The FDA will continue its investigation to try to determine the root cause of the contamination of the implicated brand,” according to the July 5 notice.

The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to investigate with state and local health authorities. The first illness was reported Jan. 14 and the last case was reported on June 16. Most have been reported since April, according to the CDC.


Past recall

In August 2017, Agroson's recalled Cavi brand maradol papaya at the FDA’s request. According to a notice on the FDA website, several brands of maradol papaya from the Mexican grower, Carica de Campeche, had tested positive for salmonella. Cavi brand papayas, however, did not test positive.

Agroson's ceased importing papayas from Carica de Campeche at that time, according to the company’s Aug. 2017 notice. The company began taking samples from every load to a private lab to test for salmonella.

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