Health officials are warning consumers not to eat, serve or sell whole or pre-cut papaya (including those found in fruit salads) from Mexico sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating papaya could put consumers at risk of salmonella poisoning, as 62 people in eight states had fallen ill in an outbreak believed to be related to the tropical fruit as of June 28.
Of those who were sickened, most were aged 60 and older and claim to have contracted the infection between January 14, 2019 and June 8, 2019. Twenty-three have been hospitalized with severe flu-like symptoms including diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. All are currently residents of the above states, along with Florida and Texas.
If you live in a state affected by this outbreak, the CDC advises that you throw away any papayas of Mexican origin in your home, even if some were eaten and no one became sick. Refrain from buying more at the grocery store until further notice. Additionally, you should wash and sanitize places where the papaya was stored, including countertops or refrigerator drawers and shelves. Beyond that, there are plenty more preventative measures you can take to avoid poisoning.