Salmonella outbreaks across the United States have been traced back to an onion dealer who sells its products under various brand names,media BGR reported. The onions are sold under store brands and other names, and at least 34 states have confirmed cases. Although no deaths have been reported, the CDC and FDA are urging people to immediately throw away potentially contaminated onions.
The salmonella outbreak in the United States has led to about 400 known cases of infection, traced to onions from Thomson International, Inc. Unfortunately, the company’s onions are purchased and resold under several different brand names, including store brands.
As explained by the CDC, onions from Thomson International appear on store shelves, with names including Thomson Premium, TLC, Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial. Brands such as Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.
So far, the outbreak has resulted in at least 59 hospitalizations, although no foodborne illness-related deaths have been made. Symptoms of salmonella infection include stomach pain, fever and diarrhea. If the infection is particularly severe, it can actually spread from the digestive system to the blood, and then it can travel to other organs and do some serious damage. In addition, young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to be infected and may experience more severe symptoms.
As for the source of the contamination, Thomson International issued a voluntary recall of red onions, yellow onions, white onions and sweet yellow onions on August 1. Although the company’s recall is extensive, the CDC says red onions are believed to be the source of the outbreak. An investigation into the outbreak is still ongoing, and officials hope to be able to track the source more definitively in the near future.
The FDA recommends that people avoid buying these brands of onions when buying onions, and dispose of them immediately if they already have onions in their home. In addition, the agency recommends disinfecting any containers, cutlery or countertops that onions may have come into contact with. In addition, restaurants are advised to avoid providing customers with any onions that may be contaminated and to contact Thomson International if they are unsure whether their onions are from Thomson International. More details about the recall can be found on the FDA’s recall page.