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FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Consumer Media: 888-Info-FDA
March 8, 1999

FDA ANNOUNCES VOLUNTARY NATIONWIDE RECALL OF CERTAIN FROZEN MAMEY BRANDS

The Food and Drug Administration is announcing the voluntary nationwide recall of frozen mamey under the "El Sembrador" and "La Fe" brands. These products are distributed by L. & J. General International Corp., Miami, Florida and Gonzales & Tapanes Foods, Miami, Florida and North Bergen, New Jersey. This action is being taken after an investigation by Florida state and local health officials linked 13 confirmed cases of typhoid fever to the consumption of frozen mamey in homes and restaurants.

Because of the serious nature of typhoid fever, FDA is repeating its warning issued February 20 that consumers not consume the recalled frozen mamey.

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 or a drink made with frozen mamey and have experienced these symptoms should consult their health care provider immediately.

These products are being recalled as a precaution while FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work closely with Florida state and local health officials to determine the source of the contamination.

The "El Sembrador" brand frozen mamey was distributed in Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, and New York. Consumers can identify the products, which are in clear plastic 14-ounce bags labeled "El Sembrador Product of Guatemala" or "El Sembrador Product of Honduras." These products were distributed by L. & J. General International Corp., Miami, Florida.

"La Fe" brand frozen mamey was distributed in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon. This product is sold in clear plastic 14-ounce bags labeled "La Fe Mamey, Product of Guatemala" or "La Fe Mamey, Product of Honduras." These products were distributed by Gonzales & Tapanes Foods, Inc.

Another product being recalled has no brand name. It is produced by Agrodex, Guatemala and imported by Jagua Trading Group Corp., Miami, Florida. This product is sold in clear plastic 5-pound packages usually to retailers and not to consumers; it is labeled "Mamey, Mammea americana, Product of Guatemala.

This recall 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 confirmed illnesses to date -- all of which required hospitalization -- occurred between mid-December and February 18; 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.

Consumers who have purchased these brands of frozen mamey are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact L. J. General International at 305-638-5161 or Gonzales & Tapanes Foods, Inc. at 201-867-3141. Retailers with the 5-pound bulk product can call Jagua at 305-264-6416.

Mamey is a tropical fruit whose pulp is salmon pink to red, soft and smooth in texture.

 

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.