Health

There’s a Major Onion Recall Due to Salmonella Risk—Here’s What You Should Know

Thanks to an ongoing salmonella outbreak related to red onions that’s sickened nearly 400 people so far, there’s now a large onion recall that affects the entire U.S.

Although health authorities haven’t identified a specific shipment or company at the root of the salmonella outbreak, California-based company Thomson International Inc. announced on Saturday that it’s recalling all of its red, white yellow, and sweet yellow onions that were shipped after May 1, 2020. Thomson International’s onions were shipped to retailers, restaurants, and wholesalers in all 50 states and were sold under different brand names, such as Kroger, Onions 52, and Tender Loving Care. (For photos of all the recalled onions and their packaging check out the FDA’s site here.)

The outbreak has so far sickened 396 people in 34 states across the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those people, 59 required hospitalization for their symptoms. Interestingly, health authorities in Canada are looking into a similar outbreak of salmonella linked to onions that had been imported from the U.S.

If you’ve bought any of the recalled onions or you can’t tell whether or not your onions came from Thomson International, the CDC recommends throwing them away. And, if you happened to make any food with those onions, throw that away as well. The CDC also recommends sanitizing any kitchen surfaces or utensils that may have come into contact with the recalled onions to avoid contamination.

The symptoms of a salmonella infection aren’t pleasant, but generally aren’t harmful to otherwise healthy adults. Those symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever that may appear anywhere between six hours and six days after eating the contaminated food. Your symptoms should go away within four to seven days. But, for some people, the infection can be more serious—even life-threatening—especially if you become severely dehydrated or the bacteria gets into your bloodstream. Young kids, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to have more severe symptoms.

So, if you think you may have the symptoms of a salmonella infection, especially one related to the onion recall, check in with your doctor, the CDC says. And consider reporting your case to your local public health department so they can keep tracking the outbreak.

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