U.S. FDA labels mangoes high risk

October 31, 2012

According to Food Safety News, this past summer’s Salmonella outbreak linked to mangoes has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to declare the fruit to be “high risk,” and is promising increased inspections at U.S. ports of entry.

“FDA will increase their inspections of mangos at the ports. As a result, look for longer hold time on fruit going through the process. Unfortunately, these additional inspections are most likely going to be the new norm,” said William Watson, Executive Director for the National Mango Board, in a letter to the industry. Watson encouraged mango growers to “double check your protocols and address any shortcomings immediately.”

In late August, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and then the FDA discovered Daniella brand mangoes grown in Mexico were likely contaminated with Salmonella. When the problem was detected, Burlingame, Calif.-based Splendid Products recalled certain lots of the Daniella brand mangoes. The FDA’s investigation eventually led to recalls by three other mango importers.

The FDA, which was prevented from visiting Agricola Daniella in Sinaloa, Mexico immediately after the recall, did put the mango brand on an Import Alert. The Sept. 12 alert was for “Detention Without Physical Examination Of Raw Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Due To The Presence Of Pathogenic Contamination.”

The Mango Board’s Watson says food safety expert Sergio Nieto-Montenegro, a native of Mexico who earned a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in food science in 2006, will be doing risk assessments both in mango facilities in growing countries and receiving warehouses in the United States. Watson said Nieto-Montenegro’s report along with industry input would be used as a guide for determining the next steps for best food safety protocols for mangoes.

Food Safety News article

National Mango Board letter