Hundreds more sick: check onions that you may have on hand

A national recall of the implicated onions, from Thomson International Inc., was initiated on August 1, 2020, but consumers may still have the onions in their homes. The recall includes all varieties of onions, red, yellow, white and sweet yellow that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions.  Potentially contaminated onions were shipped nationwide from May 1 to August 1, 2020 and sold under a wide number of brand names including Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Aldi, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Publix, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart onions. Federal officials are testing water and other possible sources of the contamination.

Foods made with recalled onions such as cheese dips or spreads, salsas, and chicken salads have also been recalled.

The CDC recommends consumers take the following steps

Do not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., and other companies or foods made with recalled onions. Recalled onion types include red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow varieties.

  • Check your home for recalled onions and recalled foods from Thomson International, Inc. and other companies.
    • If you can’t tell where your onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
    • If you used recalled onions to make any other food or don’t know where those onions were from, don’t eat the food. Throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick.
  • Wash and sanitize any surfaces such as countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging. Wash surfaces with soap and water, rinse, then sanitize with a dilute bleach solution of 1 teaspoon bleach per quart of water and allow to air dry. Or use a prepared kitchen disinfectant spray as directed on the package.
  • When you order food from a restaurant or shop for food, check with the restaurant or grocery store to make sure they are not serving or selling recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc. or other companies, or any foods prepared with recalled onions, including foods such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas, and dips.
    • If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product or order the food.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection (salmonellosis). Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Normally healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days after eating contaminated food. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization. Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

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