I love papayas probably more than most, from the health benefits all the way over to the incredible flavor, but it's simply not worth it to risk getting sick from it. Until the most recent newsflashes it may have been generally considered as safe to go with produce to avoid the potentials of salmonella, shigella and other bacterial dangers, formerly only associated with the dairy, meat, fish and poultry industries, but that's no longer the case.
Doug Powell, of Barfblog, on the ksu.edu website, reports on the possible 97 linked cases of salmonella poisoning, via papayas imported from Mexico, under the Agromod Produce, Inc., of McAllen, Texas, under the Blondie, Yaya, Mananita and Tastylicious brands. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Newsroom: Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts section, Agromod Produce, Inc. issued a health hazard alert stating that the organism "can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems."
Of these brands, those distributed prior to July 23, 2011 are the ones on recall. Folks having made these purchases are encouraged to return said purchases to place of purchase.
If you have any questions you may contact the company at (800) 385-7658.
With all that said, here are a few actionable items you can have working on your behalf to stay on top of the product you're buying for your clients as well as your business and home:
- Research Channels - Set up your research channels to stay up to date on what's going on with the items you get most. Think:
- google alerts
- Establish a good line of communication with your growers and manufacturers - they'll more than likely be on top of their industry better than you, so let them be resources for you
- Knowledge - Know from whence your food items are being sourced. If you know this information you should easily be able to learn more about their rules and regulations when it comes to ensuring top quality.
Don't let that happen to you or your growing business.
Another thing I like to do when I get produce, especially ones that may have travelled far, is gently wash and dry it, to remove any surface bacteria, parasites, mlds, fungus and dirt. Even when I go the convenience route and pull salad greens out of a bag to use, I don't put my trust in the manufactures to have washed it [it only takes one time to make someone sick to get a bad name and reputation], so I wash it myself. I also make sure not to place the unwashed items on my cutting board or cut into it without washing it. That's a surefire way [which is highly abused] to create an environment for crosscontamination and potential food borne illnesses.
I hope this has been helpful and informative without being overly alarming.
As always, it's my pleasure sharing with you this timely information. Until next time...