The FDA warned people to avoid Cavi brand fresh, whole papayas after distributor Agroson’s LLC refused to initiate a recall.

The agency is pursuing additional regulatory action in the investigation of a Salmonella Uganda outbreak centered in Northeast states that regulators say is likely linked to the papayas.

When Agroson’s, of Bronx, New York, refused the FDA’s request to recall the produce, the agency contacted wholesale customers of Agroson’s to ensure the fruit was no longer available for sale, has been discarded and not further processed or frozen. 

“FDA is doing this to protect consumers as it pursues additional protective and regulatory action,” the agency says in its update on the outbreak. It has sickened 71 people, including 27 hospitalizations.

Earlier this month, the FDA announced that Agroson’s is the exclusive distributor of the papayas that likely made people sick, according to epidemiological and traceback information. At that time, the FDA said there had been no positive product samples.

The illnesses were in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. But people in all states should throw away Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas. If you can’t determine the brand of papaya, discard it, the FDA says.

Health officials had recommended that people avoid any whole, fresh papayas, but the FDA says it’s safe now to start eating them again, except for the Cavi brand.

The FDA “strongly advises” importers, suppliers, distributors, restaurants, retailers and other food service providers from all states to not sell or distribute the Cavi papayas.

The hold that the FDA issued at the end of June on all imported Mexican papayas is no longer necessary, and distributors can resume getting them to market, with the exception of the Cavi brand, FDA says.

For more information, visit the FDA’s website to assist industry and consumers.