Thursday, August 25, 2011


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to make the production, distribution and sale of fresh produce safer. Now, after a rather bad nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Agona (think "agony" ) bacteria in papayas from Mexico, it has announced a special focus on imported produce from this country.

The Salmonella-contaminated Mexican papayas made at least 99 people ill in 23 states in the U.S. (assume that about 3% of cases are actually reported, so there were a lot more). The recall occurred on July 23, by Agromod Produce, Inc. of Texas, and the papayas were sold in the U.S. and Canada by wholesalers and retail stores under brands of Blondie, Yaya, MaƱanita, and Tastylicious.

Let's remember that the United States is importing much more fresh produce than it exports. Mexico is the primary supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to the U.S. We get quite a variety from across the border, including tomatoes, avocados, grapes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, green beans, papaya and melons.

So, Mexico has not been singled out because produce from there is especially risky, but because we get so much from there. But naturally, we have indeed had a lot of outbreaks in Mexican produce (and herbs) over the years. This one in papayas is just the latest. And there will be more.

To your good health,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't an agreeemnt be signed whereby the export of produce to the USA has to meet certain health standards and be inspected in Mexico before being exported?