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Mangoes implicated in California salmonella outbreak

The state Department of Public Health says the source of the tainted fruit has not yet been identified. But in a similar Canadian outbreak, people were warned not to eat the Daniella brand.

August 28, 2012|By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
  • California public health officials say an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened 73 people in the state appears to be linked to tainted mangoes.
California public health officials say an outbreak of salmonella that…

California public health officials say an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened 73 people in the state appears to be linked to tainted mangoes.

The California Department of Public Health said Tuesday that the source of the tainted fruit and any affected brands have not yet been identified. But the salmonella cases in California do involve the same bacterial strain as in a recent outbreak in Canada, department spokesman Matt Conens said.

In those cases, Canadian authorities have warned people not to eat Daniella brand mangoes, which are grown in Mexico. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said several people became ill after eating the fruit.

Of the 73 confirmed cases in California, about two-thirds of patients reported having eaten mangoes, officials said. Conens said no other details about the cases, including the ages of the victims and the severity of their illnesses, was available Tuesday.

Lola Russell, a spokeswoman with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said several other states have also recently reported cases of salmonella Braenderup, the same type at issue in California. She said the agency is working with state health departments to investigate the outbreak.

Meanwhile, a California company that is the main U.S. distributor of Daniella mangoes has announced a voluntary recall of the fruit.

"We're trying to gather as much information as we can and get to the bottom of this," said Larry Nienkerk, owner of Burlingame-based Splendid Products, who said the company was working closely with regulatory agencies. "We're concerned about the people who've been affected."

Infection with salmonella, of which there are many types, can cause diarrhea, fever and cramping. The illness can be severe, especially in the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

rebecca.trounson@latimes.com

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