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Bad Papaya Crop Said to Be Source of Recent Salmonella Outbreak

Per a recall notice issued last week, the FDA is warning consumers to avoid eating Caribeña brand Maradol papayas from Mexico, as they have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella. The CDC is reporting 47 cases so far, with 12 hospitalizations and one death from 12 states, including Maryland.

Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow, but it is recommended consumers avoid all Caribeña papayas, regardless of color. The affected papayas can be identified by a recognizable sticker, an example of which can be viewed on the Maryland Department of Health website. Testing of several yellow Maradol papayas at a Baltimore retail location confirmed Salmonella. The source of the exposure has not yet been identified, but it could have occurred any time in the supply chain.

Salmonella Symptoms and Things to Know

Salmonella refers to a group of bacteria which account for one of the biggest causes of food poisoning in the country. Symptoms can last anywhere from four to seven days, and most recover without treatment. However, Salmonella can cause serious issues in infants, older adults, or those with compromised immune systems.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Vomiting

Most people infected with Salmonella see symptoms develop within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Consumers who believe they have been infected with Salmonella should drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. If dehydration is a concern, call a doctor immediately. In cases of severe diarrhea, a patient may be hospitalized as the risk of infection spreading from the intestines to the blood stream can cause death if not treated.

Strict Liability in Maryland

Maryland follows the legal theory of strict liability, which basically means liability imposed without any regard to who is at fault. However, it does not mean damages are automatically awarded in strict liability matters. You should seek assistance from a Maryland personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a case.

Generally, to prove strict liability, a plaintiff must show the incident in question meets the following criteria:

  • The product was defective at the time it left the control of the seller
  • It was unreasonably dangerous, which means the defective condition of the product made it unreasonably dangerous to the consumer
  • You can prove the defect was the cause of the injury/harm
  • The product was expected to reach, and did reach, the consumer without any substantial change in its condition

Plaintiffs also have to show that the company who sold and/or manufactured the defective item must be normally engaged in the business of selling the product. Even if the manufacturer or seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale, they may still be found strictly liable for injuries and damages. Under strict liability, the plaintiff does not need to show there was actual negligence on the part of the manufacturer and/or seller to be awarded damages.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Robert R. Castro have extensive experience with strict liability and negligence claims arising out of incidents in Charles, St Mary’s, Calvert, or Prince George Counties, or elsewhere in the state of Maryland. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a contaminated food product, please call us at 301-804-2312 to schedule a free consultation.

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