Hawaii Papayas Not Involved in Salmonella Outbreak on the Mainland

Posted on Jun 28, 2019 in Main

June 28, 2019

HONOLULU – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating a multistate outbreak of 62 Salmonella illnesses potentially linked to whole, fresh papayas imported specifically from Mexico.

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) emphasizes that there is no reason to avoid Hawaii-grown papayas.

“The FDA has informed me that their investigations are centered on papayas imported from Mexico,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser. “Our state’s papaya-loving community should be reassured that the fruit grown in Hawaii has not been linked to the outbreak which is mainly occurring in the Northeastern U.S.

“Incidences like this underscore the importance of supporting our Hawaii farmers as we move toward increasing food security in our state,” Shimabukuro-Geiser added.

“All locally grown papaya is considered safe to eat,” said Lori Nagatoshi, DOH Food & Drug Branch chief. “Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, and the best way to reduce the risk of illness from fresh produce is to wash it thoroughly under running water or cook it.”

HDOA, DOH and the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service reminds consumers to thoroughly wash all produce before consuming – no matter where it comes from.

Links to food safety information and resources are available at:
HDOA: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/qad/commodities-branch/food-safety-information/
DOH: https://health.hawaii.gov/san/
UH-CTAHR: https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/foodsafety-ces/

Link to FDA news release (June 28, 2019): https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-uganda-potentially-linked-whole-fresh-papayas-june-2019?utm_campaign=National%20Broadcast%20Message%20-%20FDA%20Announces%20Outbreak%20Investigation%20Linked%20to%20Papayas&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

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Media Contacts:

Janelle Saneishi, Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
808.973.9560                                                                                                                                                                                             [email protected]


Janice Okubo, Communications Office
Hawaii Department of Health
[email protected]