Last week, the CDC issued a food safety alert regarding onions from Mexico that have been linked to salmonella outbreaks. Health officials, including those from both the CDC and FDA, have determined that the outbreak is a result of red, white, and yellow onions from Chihuahua, Mexico.
Consumers are instructed to toss onions that have been imported from Mexico and not to hang on to onions whose origin is unclear. After a salmonella outbreak affected 37 states and caused 652 illnesses and 129 hospitalizations, the CDC issued a food safety alert recalling onions, specifically those from Mexico. Keeler Family Farms recalled red, white, and yellow onions that were shipped between July 1 and August 25. ProSource Produce LLC recalled red, white, and yellow onions shipped between July 1 and August 31.
The last shipment of onions came in late August, but it’s likely that many homes and restaurants are still in possession of onions shipped during that time. The CDC warned, “Do not buy or eat any whole fresh red, white, or yellow onions if they were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.” Most of the cases have been in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland and Illinois (The Hill).
Other states affected are California, Oregon, South and North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.
Salmonella is a bacterial disease that affects around 1.35 million people in the U.S. yearly, with around 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths (CBS). It is most severe in children under 5, adults over 65, and the immunocompromised. This specific outbreak has already affected people spanning the ages of under a year all the way to 97 years. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, usually beginning six hours to six days after being ingested, and can last four to seven days. In some cases it can lead to severe disease.