Mexican Produce And Food Poisoning: Two Major Food-Borne Outbreaks this Summer linked to Mexican Produce
Out of the CDC’s 12 food-borne outbreak investigations of 2019 thus far, 2 of these are linked to produce from Mexico.
The first outbreak linked to Mexican produce was investigated by the CDC and published on July 5, 2019. This was a Salmonella Uganda outbreak linked to Cavi brand Papayas imported from Mexico. There are 71 cases reported, 27 hospitalizations, spanning across 8 states including Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas, with no reported deaths. While there was no official recall on Cavi brand Papayas, the CDC strongly warns consumers, retailers, and restaurants to avoid any consumption or cross-contamination with Cavi brand Papayas distributed by Agroson’s LLC. Importers and distributors are permitted to sell Papayas with the exception of Cavi brand, until further notified. The CDC stated that “Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico are a likely source of this outbreak”. This Cavi Papaya Salmonella outbreak linked to Cavi brand Papayas is an ongoing investigation and any further information will be posted to the CDC.
- Papayas – Salmonella Uganda
The second outbreak linked to Mexican produced was investigated by the CDC and published on July 25, 2019. This was a Cyclospora outbreak linked to fresh basil imported from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico. There are 132 reported cases, 4 hospitalizations, spanning across 11 different states including Florida, New York, Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, with no reported deaths. Similarly to the Papaya outbreak, there was no official recall rather, strong warnings from the CDC to consumers, retailers, and restaurants to avoid consumption or cross-contamination with fresh basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico. Importers and distributors are permitted to sell fresh basil but are advised to avoid any from Siga Logistics de CV. The CDC stated that “Epidemiologic evidence and early product distribution information indicate that fresh basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico is a likely source of this outbreak”. This Cyclospora outbreak caused by fresh basil from Mexico is an ongoing investigation as well and any further information will be posted to the CDC.
- Fresh Basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV of Morelos, Mexico – Cyclospora (2019)
These considerable outbreaks, both from Mexican produce, raise legitimate concern as to the current safety standards of Mexican distributors and perhaps call for their reevaluation.