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Home / Business / Hawaii papayas "safe to eat" despite salmonella outbreaks on the mainland, state officials say

Hawaii papayas "safe to eat" despite salmonella outbreaks on the mainland, state officials say



  • GEORGE F. LEE / 201

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    Organic papaya bred by Yao Cheng at Makuu Farmers Market near Keaau.

Hawaii papaya is safe to eat despite an outbreak of salmonella that has resulted in diseases reported in eight other states, local authorities say.

The US Food and Drug Administration and Disease Control and Prevention Centers investigate an outbreak of 62 salmonella diseases associated with fresh papaya imported from Mexico.

The State Health Department and the National Institute of Agriculture said that there is no reason to avoid eating locally grown papaya.

"The FDA has informed me that their investigations are centered on papaya imported from Mexico," Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser said in a written statement. "The state's papaya-loving community should be assured that the fruit grown in Hawaii has not been linked to the outbreak that occurs mainly in the Northeast."

Diseases have been reported in Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, according to the FDA. The CDC advised consumers in those states to waste papaya from Mexico.

Of the 62 diseases, 60 were reported in the northeastern six states.

"A patient from Florida reported ill, had traveled to Connecticut before becoming ill," according to the FDA in a written statement. "Another Texas patient was also reported poorly, and at this time, further information about this patient is being collected. More information will be provided when available."

All Hawaii adult papaya are safe to eat, Lori Nagatoshi says. , head of the DOH Food & Drug Branch, in a statement.

"Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, and the best way to reduce the risk of disease from fresh produce is to wash it thoroughly under running water or prepare it," Nagatoshi said. , b, e, v, n, t, r)
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