Explaining that a strain of salmonella doesn’t correspond to the local environment, a Campeche state official said that tainted papaya in the U.S. is more likely from the Caribbean.
Carlos Fuyivara, secretary of the State Committee of Plant Health of Campeche (Cesavecam), rebuffed an attempt to prevent the state’s export of Maradol papaya.
State technicians from the Agro-Food Safety Committee took papaya samples from the Carica de Campeche farm in Tenabo, which has solely been linked to the outbreak, but have found no contamination after 40 field tests.
The farm has been certified to continue marketing its crops, said Fuyivara. It is inspected twice a year for sanitation and safety.
In Campeche, 30,000 tons of Maradol papaya are placed on the market each year; of those 18,000 tons are marketed to the United States.
The outbreak has grown for several months. As of Friday, the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control has counted 173 infections in the U.S., including one death.
As of Friday, U.S Food and Drug Administration officials are not retracting their assertions that the tainted fruit came from the Carica de Campeche farm.
Three brands of Maradol papayas have been recalled: Caribeña brand, distributed by Grande Produce; certain Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson’s; and Valery brand papayas, distributed by Freshtex Produce, LLC.
Sources: La Jornada Maya, Food Poison Journal