We’re used to onions making us cry, but they might make us feel a whole lot worse right now: The FDA has issued a recall for multiple types of onions due to a salmonella outbreak.
A statement from the FDA claims this strain, known as Salmonella Newport, came from a company called Thomson International, Inc. in California. Although the initial culprit was traced back to their red onions, the likelihood of cross-contamination has caused officials to also advise against eating their white, yellow, and sweet yellow varieties. The onions were shipped to grocery stores, wholesalers, and restaurants throughout all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, and Canada, over the past few months.
Both the FDA and CDC recommend checking the labels on onions you might already have in your home. If you see any of the brand names listed below, the bulbs should be tossed away:
- Thomson Premium
- TLC Thomson International
- Tender Loving Care
- El Competitor
- Hartley’s Best
- Onions 52
- Imperial Fresh
- Utah Onions
- Food Lion
If you’re not sure where your onions came from, it’s better to be safe than sorry and simply get rid of them. The FDA also says to use “extra vigilance” while cleaning and sanitizing cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators, storage bins, and any other areas that might have come into contact with contaminated onions.
Dining out? The CDC warns to be just as careful at restaurants or while picking up food. “People sickened in this outbreak reported eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas, and dips,” their website explains. “When you eat out or shop for food, check with restaurants and grocery stores to make sure they are not serving or selling recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., or foods prepared with them. If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product.”
The officials currently list 396 confirmed cases of this outbreak strain in 34 states. So far, California, Oregon, and Utah have been hit the hardest, but states across the country like Michigan and Montana are also reporting significant numbers. You can click here to check an updated map of cases.
According to the CDC, symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps which show up within six hours or six days of consuming food with the bacteria. They claim the illness lasts between four to seven days and usually clears up on its own without treatment. However, children under five, adults over 65, and anyone with a weakened immune system are more vulnerable to extreme infections and should see their doctors ASAP.
Those who believe they’ve been affected by this outbreak but without severe symptoms are still encouraged to let their healthcare providers and local health department know so officials can continue tracking the outbreak. You might need to provide information about what you ate in the week leading up to your illness.