Fresh whole onions linked to salmonella outbreak in 37 states: CDC

Written by on October 21, 2021


(NEW YORK) — A salmonella outbreak in 37 states has been linked to fresh whole red, white, and yellow onions sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 652 people have reported illness with 129 hospitalizations due to the onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed by ProSource Inc, according to the CDC.

The company said these onions had import dates from July 1 to Aug. 27. It said they can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses.

These onions may have stickers or packaging to indicate the brand, ProSource Inc., and the country where they were grown. They were sold in 37 states.

Investigators are working to determine if any other onions or suppliers are linked to this outbreak.

ProSource Inc. said it voluntarily agreed to recall these onions.

“While investigations into various potential sources of salmonella remain ongoing, to date no onions marketed through ProSource have tested positive for Salmonella,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “This voluntary recall is being conducted out of an abundance of caution, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based on reported illnesses which have been associated with the possible consumption of fresh onions that originated in Chihuahua, MX.”

CDC recommendations

Check storage coolers and coolers for these onions. If you can’t tell where they are from, don’t buy them or eat them, throw them away, the agency said.

Wash and sanitize any surfaces or containers that may have touched these onions with hot soapy water.

Do not buy or eat any whole fresh red, white, or yellow onions if they were imported and distributed from the above places.

Throw away any whole red, white, or yellow onions you have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging.

Salmonella symptoms

The CDC urges anyone to call their health care provider if they have any of these severe salmonella symptoms:

-Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F

-Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving

-Bloody diarrhea

-So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down

-Signs of dehydration, such as not peeing much, dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up

Most people infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms typically start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria.

Recovery for most people without treatment is four to seven days, but people with weakened immune systems like children under 5 and adults over 65 may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

For more information about salmonella, see the CDC Salmonella Questions and Answers page here.

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