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Recall: Red onions expected in salmonella outbreak shipped to all 50 states and Canada – USA TODAY

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Published 6:52 p.m. ET Aug. 3, 2020

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Red onions potentially contaminated with salmonella were shipped to supermarkets and restaurants in all 50 states and Canada, health officials say.

Thomson International of Bakersfield, California, on Saturday recalled all red, white, yellow and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1 through the present out of concern they might be affected, according to the Food and Drug Administration. 

Onions were sold in cartons, weighing five pounds to 50 pounds, and mesh sacks (ranging from 2 pounds to 50 pounds) under brand names including Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Kroger, Food Lion, Hartley’s Best, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Imperial Fresh, Onions 52, Majestic and Utah Onions.

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Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. To see packaging photos of the onions go to the FDA website.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA is investigating a multi-state outbreak of salmonella newport infections possibly linked to the onions. But so far, the FDA has found no specific source of contamination has been identified is also investigating other potential sources of contamination, the agency says.

So far, officials have reported 396 illnesses and 59 hospitalizations in 34 states. No deaths have been reported, according to the CDC

Canadian health officials on July 30 said red onions from the U.S. might be the potential source of a salmonella outbreak in Canada.

Those who become ill from salmonella often develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps from six hours to six days after exposure, the CDC says. Persons with more severe cases may have a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, rashes, and blood in the urine or stool. The illness can be fatal; salmonella leads to about 420 deaths annually in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Consumers should not eat any of the recalled onions – or any onions they think might be from Thomson. They should also disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the onions. Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling Kim Earnshaw at 661-845-1111.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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