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  1. Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella Javiana: Fruit Mix (December 2019)

FDA’s investigation is complete. CDC announces outbreak is over.

February 18, 2020

Update

FDA, CDC and state and local partners investigated an outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Javiana. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce of North Brunswick, New Jersey, was the source of this outbreak. CDC has announced this outbreak is over. The FDA’s investigational activities, including an inspection, are complete.

The firm recalled the fruit mix, called Fruit Luau, as well as cut honeydew, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products on December 7. The FDA recommended that food service and institutional food operators not sell or serve the recalled products.

In interviews, ill people reported eating cut fruit that was served in the week before illness started. Ill people reported eating cut fruit that was served in long-term care facilities, hospitals, hotels, schools, or universities. Several ill people also reported purchasing cut fruit from multiple locations of a grocery store chain. A review of records determined that these locations served or sold cut fruit from Tailor Cut Produce.

The FDA worked with CDC and state partners to trace back the cut fruit and learn more about the potential routes of contamination. Tailor Cut Produce was identified as the common processor, but the source of the contamination was not identified. When FDA did an inspection at Tailor Cut Produce, the inspectors observed these general deficiencies: the firm’s hazard analysis did not identify a known or reasonably foreseeable hazard that required a preventive control; the firm did not identify a preventive control for a hazard when one was needed; and the firm did not maintain the plant in a clean and sanitary condition and keep the plant in repair. The firm is working with the FDA to address the deficiencies.

As of February 14, 2020, CDC is reporting 165 illnesses were confirmed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NY, PA, VA, and WA. Illnesses were reported from states where Tailor Cut Produce distributes, including Pennsylvania, New York City, New Jersey, and Delaware. Ill people from other states reported traveling to these states in the week before their illness started.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 165
Hospitalizations: 73
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: January 11, 2020
States with Cases: CA, CO, CT, DE (49), FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ (50), NY (7), PA (49), VA, WA

CDC Outbreak Page


What Products are Recalled?

Tailor Cut Produce of New Jersey, recalled its Fruit Luau mix, which contains cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes, as well as cut honeydew, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled fruit products were distributed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware between November 15 and December 1, 2019. More recall information can be found on the FDA website.

Box of Tailor Cut Produce of New Jersey

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis. Most people infected with Salmonella will begin to develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness, salmonellosis, usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.

Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.

Children younger than five, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe salmonellosis infections.

Learn more:

General Food Safety Tips for Restaurants and Retailers

Restaurants and retailers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that employees wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

  • Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators regularly.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store food.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process. 

Learn more:

General Food Safety Tips for Consumers

People should consult their healthcare provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble a Salmonella infection. 

Consumers should follow these steps for preventing foodborne illness:

  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and utensils that may have contacted contaminated foods; then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
  • Wash and sanitize surfaces used to serve or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.

Consumers can also submit a voluntarily report, a complaint, or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction) related to a food product.

Produce items should be rinsed in clean, running water without the use of cleaners or soaps. After washing, dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface.

Even if you do not plan to eat the skin, it is still important to wash produce first so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the surface when peeling or cutting produce.

Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.

Previous Updates

January 2, 2020

As of December 31, 2019, CDC is reporting 96 illnesses confirmed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in CA, CO, CT, DE, IL, MN, NJ, NY, PA, VA, and WA. Illnesses were reported from states where Tailor Cut Produce distributes, including Pennsylvania, New York City, New Jersey, and Delaware. Ill people from other states reported traveling to these states in the week before their illness started. CDC reports only cases confirmed by WGS, and these numbers may differ from the numbers that states are investigating.

FDA’s inspection at Tailor Cut Produce is ongoing. FDA is currently collecting records to support a traceback investigation and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

December 11, 2019

According to CDC, there are currently 11 illnesses confirmed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. The person from Minnesota traveled to New York at the time of infection. CDC reports only cases confirmed by WGS, and these numbers may differ from the numbers that states are investigating but are awaiting WGS confirmation to be included in the outbreak.

FDA has initiated an inspection at Tailor Cut Produce and is currently collecting records to support a traceback investigation. FDA will continue its investigation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

December 09, 2019

FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) are investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Javiana in Pennsylvania. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce of North Brunswick, New Jersey, are a potential source of this outbreak. The firm recalled the fruit mix, called Fruit Luau, as well as cut honeydew, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products on December 7. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) reports that it is investigating 33 laboratory-confirmed illnesses of Salmonella at four healthcare facilities in southeast Pennsylvania. Salmonella Javiana has been identified among cases at three of four facilities. According to the Pennsylvania DOH the epidemiologic evidence collected thus far indicates that the Fruit Luau fruit mix (which contains cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes) from Tailor Cut Produce is a potential source of the illnesses. The state’s review of invoices shows that a common food eaten by many case patients was this fruit mix.

FDA has activated a team to coordinate its outbreak investigation.  On December 6, 2019, the FDA and the Pennsylvania DOH shared the results of the investigation thus far with the firm, and the firm’s leadership stated that they would work with FDA to implement a recall of the products. On December 7, Tailor Cut Produce announced a recall.

FDA will continue its investigation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

December 6, 2019

FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) are investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Javiana in Pennsylvania. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce of North Brunswick, New Jersey, are a potential source of this outbreak.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) reports that it is investigating 31 laboratory-confirmed illnesses of Salmonella at four healthcare facilities in southeast Pennsylvania. Salmonella Javiana has been identified among cases at three of four facilities. According to the Pennsylvania DOH the epidemiologic evidence collected thus far indicates that this fruit mix is a potential source of the illnesses. The state’s review of invoices shows that a common food eaten by many case patients was the fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce. View the Pennsylvania DOH Press Release.

FDA has activated a team to coordinate its outbreak investigation.  On December 6, 2019, the FDA and the Pennsylvania DOH shared the results of the investigation thus far with the firm, and the firm’s leadership stated that they would work with FDA to implement a recall of this product.

FDA will continue its investigation and provide updates as more information becomes available.


Who to Contact

Consumers who have symptoms should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can

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