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FDA Talk Paper
TR99-11
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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 mamey.

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.

 

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.