Americans ordered to immediately throw out their onions over salmonella outbreak

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Americans have been told to immediately throw away some imported onions because they were linked to a contagious salmonella outbreak in the US.

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As of October 18, at least 652 people have been infected with salmonella outbreaks in 37 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There have been 129 hospitalizations so far due to the outbreak but cases are expected to rise.

The agencies urged restaurants, retailers and residents “not to eat, sell, or serve red, yellow and white onions supplied by ProSource Inc., imported from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, from July 1 to August 27.”


“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella oranienburg infection associated with whole fresh onions,” the FDA said. It said its investigation identified ProSource Inc. (also known as ProSource Produce, LLC) of Hailey, Idaho, as a source of potentially contaminated whole, fresh imported onions.

Agencies are investigating to find out whether additional suppliers or food items are linked to the outbreak.

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The CDC and FDA also warn against consuming red, white or yellow onions without stickers or packaging.

“These onions may have stickers or packaging indicating the brand (Prosource Inc.) and the country (Mexico) where they were grown. If you can’t tell where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them ,” the agencies said.

The CDC has also asked people to wash and sanitize any surfaces or containers that have come into contact with these onions.

Meanwhile, Prosource Inc. has agreed to voluntarily withdraw such onions. The company told the CDC that these onions were last imported on August 27, but onions can last up to three months in storage, and so can still be used in homes and restaurants.

Onion types include, but are not limited to, jumbo, giant, medium and sweet onions.

People with symptoms of diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps have been urged to contact their doctors. Children and the elderly with symptoms of salmonella may require medical treatment or hospitalization.

More severe symptoms of salmonellosis may include high fever, pain, headache, lethargy, rash, blood in the urine or stools. In some cases, it can be fatal.

Credit: / Onions

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