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Update, September 4, 2020: The salmonella outbreak believed to be linked to red onions is still ongoing. As of the beginning of September, the outbreak has sickened 1,012 people in 47 states. The outbreak has caused 136 hospitalizations and no deaths. These illnesses started from June 19, 2020, to August 11, 2020.
Though officials believe that onions sold by Thomson International, Inc. are the "likely source" of red onions involved in this outbreak, they are still investigating.
Update, August 19, 2020: Per a press release from the FDA, HelloFresh is now recommending customers "[dispose] of all onions" purchased between May 8 and July 31. The company has been "informed by one of its ingredient suppliers that it is conducting a voluntary recall of its onions due to the potential presence of salmonella bacteria." In order to determine if your onions are part of the recall, HelloFresh recommends you check the box they came in for its product code (which can be located on the bottom square of the shipping label).
Update, August 18, 2020: The ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to red and yellow onions is not only affecting a recall on the produce, but also secondary items that could contain the onions. Some prepackaged products like macaroni salads and chicken salads have already been recalled, and now certain cheese and deli dips are being recalled as well.
These secondary products that may contain contaminated onions have been sold at Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry's Food, and Smith's. Although there have been no illnesses linked to the products, cheese dips sold between May 15 and August 6 are now being recalled due to safety concerns.
The dips are store brand or store made, namely Murray's, Jarlsberg, and cheese dips and spreads made at the delis in stores. Saddlin' Up brand of salsa sold in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington is also being recalled. If you happen to have any of these items in your possession, do not consume them and dispose of them properly.
Update, August 11, 2020: The onion recall linked to salmonella has been expanded to include Progressive Produce red and yellow onions. Thomson International supplied these onions to Progressive Produce.
This expanded recall includes products that were sold at Trader Joe's including red onions at Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah stores. Yellow onions sold at Ralph's grocery stores in California are also a part of this updated list.
A full list of potentially infected products can be found on the FDA website.
Update, August 7, 2020 11:17 a.m. Ready-to-eat items sold at stores like Walmart and Kroger have been recalled this week because they contain onions that are feared to be contaminated with salmonella.
Taylor Farms Texas issued a recall in light of the salmonella outbreak linked to onions produced by Thomson International, Inc. This recall includes items sold at Kroger, including macaroni and rotini pasta salad, as well as items sold at Walmart including fajita stir fry and a chicken salad croissant. These items were sold at locations in states including Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas. You can see a full list of Walmart stores affected here and more info from Kroger here.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued an alert this week, advising consumers to avoid some ready-to-eat meals over similar fears. The FSIS alert named several products produced by Taylor Farms including chicken salad, a Southwest salad, and a Sausage Breakfast Scramble Bowl. These products were shipped to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, and were also sold at stores like Walmart and Kroger. They have the establishment numbers "P-34733" or "34733" inside the USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the packaging. You can find the full list of products involved, as well as additional identifying information in the alert. You can also see a full list of Walmart stores where these were sold here.
No illnesses have been reported in relation to these products, according to FSIS. If you have any of these products in your refrigerator, the agency is suggesting you do not eat them and throw them away immediately.
Finally, Kroger issued a recall on some dips sold in its stores, also over fears they could also contain salmonella due to onions. You can see a full list of products in that recall here.
Update, August 3, 2020 10:16 a.m.: The CDC and FDA have identified red onions as the likely source of a widespread salmonella outbreak that has sickened almost 400 people in 34 states.
The agencies said that red onions from Thomson International, Inc. are believed to be the source of the outbreak although their investigations are still ongoing. The company has recalled its red onions, as well as white, yellow, and sweet onions over fears of cross contamination. These onions were sold in wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores under a variety of brand names, including Majestic Onions and Onions 52, and in various packaging, including mesh bags and cartons. You can find a full list of products on the recall notice here.
If you cannot tell where your onion came from, or your food product contains these onions, you should discard it immediately and disinfect surfaces where they sat.
Since the previous update, 184 people have gotten sick, bringing the reported total to 396 people. Affected states have been updated to include Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas and 59 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Update, July 29, 2020 10:14 a.m.: A salmonella outbreak, which the CDC described as "rapidly growing in size," has now reached 23 states.
There are now 212 total reported cases tied to the outbreak, an increase of 87 people since the last update. There have also 31 hospitalizations and no reported deaths. Eight new states are also being affected: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Virginia. Authorities still have not identified a cause of the outbreak and are not recommending consumers avoid any specific foods.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from mid-June to mid-July and cases range from infants to 92 year-olds, with a median age of 40. The CDC will continue to update as they learn more and you can read the full report here. The agency is also reminding consumers to practice good food safety to help prevent infections, and you can read their specific recommendations in the report as well.
Original: July 22, 2020 5:46 p.m. The Center for Disease Control announced this week that it is investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella. The agency said that while it and other public health organizations are investigating, they are not yet clear on what the source of the outbreak is.
According to an investigation notice, 125 people in 15 states have reported being infected with the particular strain of the Salmonella involved in the outbreak as of July 20, 2020. Cases in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have been reported so far. Of those states, Oregon has the most cases with 42 people.
The agency was alerted to 13 cases in three states on July 10 and says it "rapidly grew" over the next 10 days.
These illnesses have ranged from June 19, 2020 to July 7, 2020 and patients range in age from two to 92. There have been 24 hospitalizations of the 72 people whose information has been made available in the outbreak. No deaths have been reported in relation to the outbreak.
The CDC said that its investigation has not yet identified any specific food, grocery store, or restaurant as the source of this recent outbreak. As of this writing, the CDC is not advising that people avoid eating any specific foods, or that retailers stop selling any specific foods and will make people aware of updates as they have them.
Salmonella causes most of those infected with it to have diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within six hours to six days after exposure. The CDC recommends following food safety rules to prevent infection like clean, separate, cook, and chill. You can learn more about the outbreak and how to prevent Salmonella infection here.
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