WASHINGTON — The government is detaining all papaya imports from Mexico after testing showed high rates of salmonella contamination in the fruit.
Mexican papayas were linked to 100 cases of salmonella poisoning in 23 states earlier this summer. Subsequent Food and Drug Administration testing of papaya imports found a 16 percent salmonella contamination rate in papayas from all over Mexico.
The papayas will be allowed into the United States only if Mexican exporters can show valid lab testing that proves their fruit is not contaminated.
A Texas company recalled papayas linked to the outbreak last month. FDA officials say they are working with the Mexican government to find sources of the contamination and ensure better papaya safety in the future.