July 6 (UPI) -- A Cavi brand of whole, fresh papayas "are likely the source" of a salmonella outbreak in eight states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
On Friday, the federal agency warned people not to eat, serve or sell any Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas distributed by Agrosons, of Bronx, N.Y.
From Jan. 14 to June 16, 71 people have been sickened with salmonella infections and most have occurred since April, the CDC said Friday.
So far 27 have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported, the CDC said. The states where the oubreak have been reported are Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas.
Of 40 ill people with available information, 28 reported being of Hispanic ethnicity. In addition, most people in the outbreak are old than 60.
In June, the CDC recommended consumers avoid all papayas imported from Mexico.
But Friday, the CDC wrote that "epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas are a likely source of this outbreak."
Importers, suppliers and distributors should not sell Cavi papayas distributed by AgroSons.
, The CDC urges customers to throw the papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick.
And if people are not sure whether they purchased the brand, the CDC said: "When in doubt, don't eat the papaya. Throw it out."
Agrosons didn't mention the outbreak on its website but said "papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in pineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies".
Salmonella poisoning symptoms include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps but they usually appear about 12 to 72 after eating contaminated food. The illness can last between four to seven days, the CDC said.
The CDC has information about salmonella on its website.