US on alert over tainted Mexican papayas

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday issued an "import alert" after nearly 100 cases of salmonella in 23 states were linked to papayas imported from Mexico.

Under the FDA alert, papayas from Mexico can be denied entry into the United States unless the importer proves they have been tested by an independent lab.

"US and Mexican officials have been working closely together to find the source or sources of contamination of Salmonella in fresh papayas entering the US from Mexico," the FDA said in a statement.

An FDA analysis found a 15.6 percent rate over the last three months in papayas from 28 different companies that included nearly every major papaya producing region in Mexico.

Mexico produces 11 percent of the world's papayas and supplies 65 percent of US imports.

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