Onions connected to a salmonella epidemic have been recalled in 37 states due to the risk of contamination
Fresh onions in an unknown quantity are being voluntarily recalled due to a developing salmonella epidemic.
ProSource Produce claimed the entire raw onions (red, white, and yellow) are potentially contaminated with salmonella, according to a recall notice filed to the Food and Drug Administration website on Thursday.
The recall comes a day after the Centers for disease control announced a link between the onions, which were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and marketed by ProSource, headquartered in Hailey, Idaho.
As of Oct. 18, 652 individuals have been sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg from 37 states, according to the CDC’s food safety notice. As additional illnesses are recorded, the number of cases is anticipated to rise.
ProSource agreed to recall the problematic onions that were transported from Mexico between early July and late August, according to the FDA. The recall’s contents were not released until Thursday.
The onions were “distributed to wholesalers, broadline foodservice customers, and retail stores” in mesh sacks weighing 2 to 50 pounds and cartons weighing 5 to 50 pounds “by the following distributors and/or under the following brands: Big Bull, Peak Fresh Produce, Sierra Madre, Markon First Crop., Markon Essentials, Rio Blue, ProSource, Rio Valley, and Sysco Imperial,” according to ProSource.
The recall does not provide a list of shops that sold the onions, but it does mention that they were distributed in 35 states. Initially, recall announcements do not always contain a list of where the recalled items were sold.
Is it safe to consume onions?
According to the CDC, imported onions can be stored for up to three months. Consumers should not buy or eat impacted onions or onions from unknown origins, according to the CDC.
“Throw away any entire red, white, or yellow onions that do not have a tag or packaging that you have at home,” the CDC said. “Don’t buy or consume onions if you can’t determine where they came from.”
Jumbo, gigantic, medium, and sweet onions are among the onion varieties affected, according to the FDA.
Since the end of August, ProSource has not transported any fresh onions from Chihuahua, Mexico, according to the business.
Consumers who bought onions from Chihuahua are “urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or throw them out,” according to ProSource. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time, call the firm at 208-928-4959 with any inquiries.
Mysterious salmonella outbreak
The salmonella epidemic was initially detected in mid-September, but health officials had yet to pinpoint a food source.
Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration, which can appear anywhere between six hours and six days after exposure to the infection, according to the CDC. After four to seven days, the majority of patients recover without therapy.
“While investigations into several potential sources of Salmonella continue, no onions marketed by ProSource have tested positive for Salmonella to yet,” the company stated. “This voluntary recall is being done out of an abundance of caution in collaboration with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based on reports of illnesses linked to the probable ingestion of fresh onions from Chihuahua.”
The new incident “shows to the need for improved tracking of imported goods so that when an outbreak happens, we can identify the source more promptly,” Isabel Brown, consumer watchdog associate with the PIRG Education Fund, said in a statement.
“We’ve understood for a long time that we need to better track all food across the supply chain so we can spot illnesses faster and recall tainted food faster,” Brown said.
Salmonella outbreak spread to 37 states
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas has the most cases in the current outbreak, with 158, followed by Oklahoma with 98. There are 59 instances in Virginia, 58 in Maryland, 37 in Illinois, 25 in Wisconsin, 23 in Minnesota, and 21 in Missouri.
Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Dakota, Alabama, Iowa, South Carolina, Utah, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Colorado, Indiana, and West Virginia are among the states with 14 or fewer cases.
“The real number of sick persons in an epidemic is likely substantially greater than the number recorded,” the CDC stated, adding that the outbreak “may not be restricted to states with documented infections.” “This is due to the fact that many patients heal without medical attention and are never tested for Salmonella.”
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, ProSource said the onions were distributed to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan
North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and West Virginia are four states that are not on the ProSource list yet exhibit diseases on the CDC map. Cases have not been recorded in Arizona or Rhode Island, according to the CDC.