|FOOD AND DRUG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Consumer Media: 888-Info-FDA
March 8, 1999
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
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.