Right on the cusp of soup season, health officials are warning U.S. customers to stay away from onions. Apparently, more than 600 people in the United States got sick with salmonella after eating several types of imported onions. According to a press release, the Food & Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the outbreak.
So far, officials have confirmed 652 Salmonella Oranienburg infections across 37 states. These cases led to 129 hospitalizations, but no recorded deaths.
“Throw away any unlabeled onions at home,” the CDC tweeted on Wednesday. “Do not eat, sell, or serve red, white, or yellow onions imported from Mexico and distributed U.S.-wide by ProSource Inc.”
OUTBREAK UPDATE: Fresh whole onions causing large Salmonella outbreak in 37 states. Throw away any unlabeled onions at home. Do not eat, sell, or serve red, white, or yellow onions imported from Mexico and distributed U.S.-wide by ProSource Inc. https://t.co/SH3Iy7JeEG pic.twitter.com/ukttkDi5pp
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 20, 2021
Signs To Look For
The CDC has also warned that the number of people sick with salmonella from the onions might be higher. Also, the list of states affected could be longer, but they’re relying on reported cases right now. The CDC revealed that “many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.”
However, the infection can cause “diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.” Severe cases result in “high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool.” The CDC says about 420 deaths occur every year in the U.S. because of Salmonella.
The most recent published list of states includes: “AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV.”
The investigation is targeting onions imported and used between July 1 and August 27. ProSource Inc. has agreed to recall “red, yellow, and white onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico” between those dates. The infected onions span across “jumbo, colossal, medium, and sweet onions.”
Health officials are hoping to curb the infections by warning the public early in their investigation.
“We are issuing this update early in our investigation as part of our continued commitment to transparency and early communication,” FDA said in a press release. “We will provide updates as we learn more during our continuing traceback investigation, especially if there are any updates to this critical public health advice.”
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