As my coworkers can attest, I love papayas. I can be frequently found in the kitchen scooping out the bulbous and slightly gooey black seeds, and generally making a bit of a mess.
The CDC is reporting an outbreak of salmonella that has been traced to Maradol papayas. So far, 47 people in 12 states have been infected, and one has died.
Symptoms of salmonella begin 12 to 72 hours after a person is infected and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping. This can last about four to seven days, and most individuals recover without treatment. However, those who develop severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalized. Those who are very young, who are very old or who have compromised immune systems are most at risk for complications and severe cases of illness.
Until the deadly papaya issue is resolved, I can recommend cantaloupe as a substitute, though of course it’s not quite the same. Cheers to fruit & food safety!