The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers to not eat any whole, fresh papayas from Mexico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent out an alert with the same message for consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

This alert is connected to an investigation of on outbreak of Salmonella. Sixty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Uganda have been reported from eight states, including one case in Rhode Island. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 14, 2019 to June 8, 2019. Most illnesses have occurred since April 2019. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized. No deaths attributed to Salmonella have been reported.

People should throw away papayas from Mexico, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Additional guidance:

– Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico. – If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out. – Wash and sanitize places where papayas were stored: countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection:

– Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. – The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. – In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body. – Children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Anyone who experiences the symptoms of Salmonella after eating papaya should contact their healthcare provider.