US health officials have issued a warning following a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to papayas imported from Mexico.
Some 47 people have been affected nationwide with 12 of them hospitalised, including a person in New York City who later died.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Caribeña brand yellow Maradol papayas are to blame for the spread of the disease and have urged people to avoid eating them.
They originate in Mexico and are distributed for Caribeña by San Juan-based Grande Produce. The FDA is working with the company on a recall.
Additional brands linked to the outbreak will be announced as the information becomes available, it said.
“Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow, so consumers should not eat Caribeña brand regardless of the colour. If anyone has these papayas in their home, they should dispose of them immediately. These can be identified by a red, green and yellow sticker,” the FDA said.
Some 12 states have been affected, including 13 cases in New York, 12 in New Jersey and six in Virginia. Other states with cases of illness include Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.
Most people infected with salmonella develop symptoms of diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of being exposed to the bacteria.
The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.