Maradol Papayas Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

Maradol Papaya Outbreak
Getty Images | Credit: procurator | Collection: DigitalVision Vectors

Have you had diarrhea, fever, or abdominal cramps in the last week? Have you eaten papayas? A multistate outbreak of Salmonella has been linked to Maradol Papayas. To date, 109 people have been infected in sixteen states, according to the CDC. Thirty-five people have been hospitalized, and one death was reported in New York City.

Two strains of Salmonella are involved: Kiambu (48 infections) and Thompson (61 infections).


Pritzker Hageman has a long history of advocating for those affected by foodborne illnesses. We work to hold corporations accountable for tolerating unsafe food practices. If you or a loved one has been affected by this outbreak, you can file a lawsuit. Make food safety a corporate responsibility.

Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak Investigation

Reports of Salmonella Kiambu and Thompson began surfacing in mid-May. Of the 59 people interviewed thus far in the investigation, 28 (47%) said they ate papayas in the days before getting sick. This is a statistically significant number of people.

Cases have been reported in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

This investigation is ongoing, and has, to date, grown from 47 to 109 people sickened.

Papayas Salmonella Outbreak CDC Map

Caribena Brand Maradol Papayas Likely Source

Caribena brand Maradol papayas have been identified as the likely source of the outbreak by the Maryland Department of Public Health, which has taken a lead in this investigation. Samples of papayas from a Baltimore, MD, grocery store tested positive for both Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson. DNA testing called whole genome sequencing (WGS) found that these pathogens are genetically the same as those that sickened outbreak victims.

The link found with whole genome sequencing provides “smoking gun” evidence that people are getting sick from eating these papayas.

On July 26, Grande Produce recalled Caribeña brand Maradol papayas that were distributed between July 10 and July 19, 2017.

Carica de Campeche Papaya Farm in Mexico Also Likely Source

Through testing, the FDA has also identified Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche papaya farm in Mexico as a likely source of the outbreak. This means a lawsuit may be possible against several companies, including the owner of this farm, importers, grocery stores and others. If you were sickened by papayas served at a restaurant, you may have the right to sue the restaurant for food poisoning.

The FDA is working to identify other brands of papayas that may have originated from Carica de Campeche and facilitate recalls.

The CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants and retailers do not sell or eat Maradol papayas from Mexico.

Get Legal Help

At Pritzker Hageman law firm, we believe in holding companies accountable for selling unsafe food. If you think you were sickened by contaminated papayas, contact us and talk with a Salmonella lawyer for free. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or use our free consultation form.

For more information, read our Salmonella Lawsuit FAQ.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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