Statement from the Food and Drug Administration February 18, 2020:
FDA, CDC and state and local partners investigated an outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Javiana. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce BB #:195229 of North Brunswick, New Jersey, was the source of this outbreak.
CDC has announced this outbreak is over. The FDA’s investigational activities, including an inspection, are complete.
The firm recalled the fruit mix, called Fruit Luau, as well as cut honeydew, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products on December 7. The FDA recommended that food service and institutional food operators not sell or serve the recalled products.
In interviews, ill people reported eating cut fruit that was served in the week before illness started. Ill people reported eating cut fruit that was served in long-term care facilities, hospitals, hotels, schools, or universities. Several ill people also reported purchasing cut fruit from multiple locations of a grocery store chain.
A review of records determined that these locations served or sold cut fruit from Tailor Cut Produce.
The FDA worked with CDC and state partners to trace back the cut fruit and learn more about the potential routes of contamination. Tailor Cut Produce was identified as the common processor, but the source of the contamination was not identified.
When FDA did an inspection at Tailor Cut Produce, the inspectors observed these general deficiencies: the firm’s hazard analysis did not identify a known or reasonably foreseeable hazard that required a preventive control; the firm did not identify a preventive control for a hazard when one was needed; and the firm did not maintain the plant in a clean and sanitary condition and keep the plant in repair. The firm is working with the FDA to address the deficiencies.
As of February 14, 2020, CDC is reporting 165 illnesses were confirmed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NY, PA, VA, and WA. Illnesses were reported from states where Tailor Cut Produce distributes, including Pennsylvania, New York City, New Jersey, and Delaware. Ill people from other states reported traveling to these states in the week before their illness started.