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J Food Prot. 2009 May;72(5):1094-8.

An outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Litchfield infection in Australia linked to consumption of contaminated papaya.

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  • 1Department of Health Western Australia, P.O. Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, Western Australia 6849, Australia.


An outbreak of 26 cases of Salmonella Litchfield infection occurred in the states of Western Australia and Queensland between October 2006 and January 2007. A case-control study was conducted with 12 cases and 24 controls, and a significant association was found between illness and consumption of papaya (odds ratio, 32.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.71 to 883.5). Papaya samples were collected from 26 stores in Western Australia, and 9 of 38 samples were contaminated with Salmonella Litchfield. These samples had pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis profiles indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. Three farms in Western Australia supplied the contaminated papaya, and two of these farms were inspected. Salmonella Litchfield was not detected in papaya samples, fungal sprays, or water samples from the farms; however, at one farm other serotypes of Salmonella were detected in untreated river water that was used for washing papaya. Only treated potable water should be used for washing fresh produce that is to be eaten raw.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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