Health officials have said that an outbreak of salmonella in red onions has occurred and that the onions were shipped to various restaurants and supermarkets in all of the 50 states, and even to Canada.
The U.S. Food and Drug Commission and the Center for Disease Control said on July 31 that they had tracked the outbreak to one likely source, which is Thomas International Inc., a California onion supplier, according to a report by USA Today.
Widespread outbreak throughout the states
According to the CDC, the salmonella outbreak has caused people to get sick in at least 34 states, amounting to a total of 396 currently ill with 54 hospitalizations and no deaths.
They have since advised people through their website not to eat, serve, or sell any onions or food made with onions that have come from Thomas International Inc., regardless if it is red, white, yellow, or sweet.
Health officials from Canada have stated on July 30 that it is possible that the salmonella outbreak in their country might have been caused by these red onions that came from the U.S.
Are your onions contaminated?
The onions were sold in various cartons ranging from five to 50 lbs., as well as in sacks ranging from two to 50 lbs. The contaminated onions could potentially be those branded as Kroger, Food Lion, Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, El Competitor, Onions 52, Imperial Fresh, Tender Loving Care, Utah Onions, and Majestic.
The FDA has compiled a series of photos showing the brands that could potentially be contaminated with salmonella to help. But if you are unsure where your onions have come from, it is advised not to use them in your dishes.
According to Life Hacker, salmonella dies in the cooking process, so people may have already consumed a contaminated onion.
However, because it was handled properly and cooked before it was consumed, that no negative side-effects occurred. To be on the safe side, it is best not to use onions that have an unknown origin.
Steps to follow if infected
The CDC has said that salmonella has an incubation period of six to 72 hours. It has advised anyone who thinks they might be sick or contaminated, or are sick already, to go to the hospital and report anything that they might have consumed or eaten before feeling the symptoms.
A contact tracing process will take place, in which the doctor will report the person’s case to the local health department. Somebody will then follow up to investigate the kind of food that was consumed prior to being afflicted.