Grower Issues Recall After Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Red Onions

Image: Darwin Bell via wikimedia.org.

A salmonella outbreak which has sickened 396 people and put 59 people in the hospital has been linked to red onions. Kentucky is one of 31 states to have been impacted by the outbreak so far.

The Food and Drug Administration, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections. While the investigation is ongoing, the FDA has identified Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, as a likely source of potentially contaminated red onions. According to an FDA press release, Thomson International has notified the federal government that it will be recalling all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. This recall would include red, white, yellow, and sweet onions from Thomson International, Inc.

 

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

[email protected]

A salmonella outbreak which has sickened 396 people and put 59 people in the hospital has been linked to red onions. Kentucky is one of 34 states to have been impacted by the outbreak so far.

The Food and Drug Administration, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections. While the investigation is ongoing, the FDA has identified Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, as a likely source of potentially contaminated red onions. According to an FDA press release, Thomson International has notified the federal government that it will be recalling all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. The recall includes red, white, yellow, and sweet onions.

Thomson provides onions to food services outlets such as Sysco and grocery stores. Among the brands affected by the recall are Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.

The FDA is advising consumers, restaurants, and retailers not to eat, sell or serve red, white, yellow or sweet onions from Thomson International or products containing such onions. The agency also recommends anyone who received or suspects having received onions from Thomson International to use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. This includes cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators, and storage bins.

Consumers who have symptoms of Salmonella infection should contact their health care provider. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.

The FDA is advising consumers, restaurants, and retailers not to eat, sell or serve red, white, yellow or sweet onions from Thomson International or products containing such onions. If you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International, or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out, the FDA said.

The agency also recommends anyone who received or suspects having received onions from Thomson International to use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. This includes cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators, and storage bins.

Consumers who have symptoms of Salmonella infection should contact their health care provider. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.

Source: CDC.

The FDA is advising suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain to not use, ship or sell red, white, yellow, or sweet onions from Thomson International or food products containing such onions. Suppliers and distributors that re-package raw onions should use extra vigilance in cleaning any surfaces and storage areas that may have come into contact with onions from Thomson International. If there has been potential cross contamination or mixing of onions from other sources with onions from Thomson International, suppliers and distributors should discard all comingled and potentially cross-contaminated product.

Kentucky consumers can report a complaint or adverse event such as illness or serious allergic reaction by calling toll-free 800-437-2382. Or by calling the Kentucky Complaint Coordinator at 513- 679-2700.

For more information, visit the FDA website.

 

3 Comments

  1. Juanita on August 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Are the loose red onions that has been distributed through the food give away sources are included in this recall?

    • Harrodsburg Herald on August 4, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      I edited the post to include the names of the brands as well as the retail outlets. However, I do not have any information about food giveaways. My advice is to contact the source of onions. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  2. Juanita on August 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I am in Birmingham Alabama

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