|FDA Talk Paper
Print Media: 301-827-6242
Broadcast Media: 301-827-3434
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
FDA Warns Consumers About Frozen Mamey
The Food and Drug Administration is warning
consumers not to eat El Sembrador brand frozen mamey from Guatemala or drinks made from El
Sembrador brand frozen mamey due to reports of typhoid fever in South Florida. Mamey is a
tropical fruit whose pulp is salmon pink to red, soft and smooth in texture. FDA is taking
this precautionary step because of the serious nature of typhoid fever.
At this point, FDA knows that El Sembrador brand
frozen mamey has been found in the freezers of the homes of the victims and in all the
restaurants where some of the victims ate this product. FDA, the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Florida Department of Health have collected
samples of frozen mamey for laboratory analysis; results are pending.
FDA's warning is based on epidemiological data in
the South Florida cases that shows a strong link between eating frozen mamey and getting
typhoid fever. The 13 reported illnesses to date -- all of which required hospitalization
-- occurred between mid-December and early February; most of the cases occurred in
Hispanic communities in South Florida. Because typhoid fever is a rare disease in the
U.S., FDA is also calling these illnesses to the attention of health professionals and
departments of health to alert them to look for typhoid symptoms.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that causes
persistent and high fever, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Any consumers
who have eaten frozen mamey and have experienced these symptoms should consult their
health care provider immediately.
FDA continues to investigate the extent of the
distribution and the source of frozen mamey products linked to the illnesses. The agency
will provide more specific information as it becomes available. FDA and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention are working closely with state and local health officials
in Florida to identify other possible cases of typhoid fever associated with eating frozen
Typhoid fever in the United States is a rare
illness most often acquired by traveling in developing countries. The illness is most
often acquired by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water or beverages.