Onions Sold in 37 States Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in U.S.

Onions Sold in 37 States Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in U.S.
Photo: Kiran Ridley, Getty Images

Fresh onions sold in at least 37 states have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that’s sickened at least 652 people and led to the hospitalisation of 129, according to a new report from the Centres For Disease Control. The onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc., but the onions have not been formally recalled yet.

The dangerous onions — red, white, and brown varieties — were sold to both restaurants and grocery stores throughout the U.S. and were last imported on August 27. And while that was almost two months ago, there’s concern that these onions are still being sold in stores and sitting in pantries throughout America.

“Check storage coolers and coolers for these onions. If you can’t tell where they are from, throw them away,” the CDC advised in a post on the agency’s website.

“Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions,” the CDC continued.

People who come in contact with salmonella often experience diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps, which can start anywhere from six hours to six days after exposure to the bacteria. Young people, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to experience severe symptoms from salmonella and may require hospitalisation.

The CDC advises contacting your doctor if you experience:

  • Diarrhoea and a fever higher than 38 degrees Celsius
  • Diarrhoea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as: Not peeing much, dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up

The only states that haven’t detected cases from this salmonella outbreak yet are primarily in the west, including Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Arizona. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire have also not identified cases of salmonella from the onions yet, but that could all just be a matter of time.

While ProSource onions are known to be one source of the salmonella outbreak, the CDC stresses that it’s still investigating whether other companies are also to blame.

“Investigators are working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to this outbreak,” the CDC said.