Date PostedNovember 12, 2012

Food Safety News Update: Is Mango a High Risk Food?

With all the talk around the Salmonella outbreak which spread across the US recently people in the US have been questioning the safety of mangoes, particularly imported mangoes. The outbreak caused 127 people across 15 American States to become ill. The US Food and Drug Administration have now declared mangoes a high risk food which warrants increased inspections at US ports of entry. Now industry experts are warning mango growers across the world to be more cautious with their growing and processing procedures and consumers to be more careful about the fruit they consume.

This post on has more:

“As a result, look for longer hold time on fruit going through the process,” William Watson, Executive Director for the National Mango Board, said in a letter to the industry. “Unfortunately, these additional inspections are most likely going to be the new norm.”

Watson encouraged mango growers to “double check your protocols and address any shortcomings immediately.”

In late August, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and then FDA discovered Daniella brand mangoes grown in Mexico were likely contaminated with Salmonella.

When the problem was detected, Burlingame, CA –  based Splendid Products recalled certain lots of the Daniella brand mangoes. FDA’s investigation eventually led to recalls by three other mango importers, but those came later on.

In the United States, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the implicated mangoes were responsible for two distinct outbreaks, one involving Salmonella Braenderup, and another involving Salmonella Worthington.

The Salmonella Braenderup outbreak was the larger of the two, sickening 127 people in 15 states. There were no deaths reported, but 33 people involved in this outbreak required hospitalization.

The second, smaller outbreak involving Salmonella Worthington consisted of 16 cases. One ill person had both strains of Salmonella and almost 90 percent said they’d consumed mangoes in the previous week. Victims of this outbreak were from similar states and were sickened during similar time periods as those involved in the larger outbreak, and were connected to the event through interviews.

Hispanics who purchased mangoes at Hispanic markets accounted for many of the ill, especially in California.

One other twist was the Mexican government’s refusal to accept what was obvious to the U.S. and Canada. Mexico’s National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Quality (SENASICA) insisted there was not enough evidence to conclude that mangoes were the source of the Salmonella.

FDA, which was prevented from visiting Agricola Daniella in Sinaloa, Mexico immediately after the recall, did put the mango brand on an Import Alert.  The Sept. 12 alert was for ”Detention Without Physical Examination Of Raw Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Due To The Presence Of Pathogenic Contamination.”


Once salmonella bacteria infect people it develops into a condition called salmonellosis.  Salmonella poisoning can be particularly lethal. Symptoms of the sickness include diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps which usually surface 12 to 72 hours after infection.

People who contract salmonellosis tend to suffer from dehydration which is caused by the diarrhoea similar to that suffered in most food poisoning cases. In order to avoid this dehydration from occurring, water and fluid lost, must be continuously replaced. Most deaths occur because of the effects of this dehydration.

Other people who may be at risk of contracting Salmonellosis include those who have eaten foods such as turkey, turkey dressing, chicken, or eggs that have not been cooked enough or stored correctly, those whose family members had a recent salmonella infection, people who have visited or worked in a hospital, nursing home, or other long-term health facility or those with a weak immune system.

In the meantime be careful when consuming mangoes, particularly imported mangoes to avoid becoming sick from a Salmonella infection.


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