Salmonella Outbreak: Over 600 People Sick Over Contaminated Onions

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A salmonella outbreak that is spreading across the country prompted ProSource Inc. to launch a nationwide onion recall. So far, 652 people have fallen ill after being infected with the Salmonella Oranienburg strain that was linked to the fresh whole onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico. Affected products include red, yellow, and white onions with import dates from July 1 through August 27.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases is still expected to grow. 

Contaminated Onions Must Be Thrown Away To Prevent Foodborne Illness

The first cases of salmonella illnesses were reported in mid-September. By October 18, officials said, people in at least 37 states had been infected. ProSource Inc. announced that these onions can last up to three months and may still be in homes and businesses. In order to avoid further contamination, the CDC is urging people to stop eating affected onions. If they have onions at home and they are unsure whether the onions were distributed by ProSource, the CDC added, it is better to be safe than sorry.

“Throw away any whole red, white, or yellow onions you have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging,” the CDC said.  “If you can’t tell where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them.”

Hundreds Fall Ill From Salmonella Thanks To Contaminated Onions

In Texas, the hardest hit state, at least 158 people suffered health-related issues after consuming the contaminated onions. Other states with large numbers of victims include Oklahoma, Virginia, and Maryland. However, officials are urging consumers everywhere in the country to heed their recommendations. 

While many people who are infected recover without medical treatment, others suffer severe symptoms that require the attention of a physician. Others may even require hospitalization. 

Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration. Victims can start feeling sick six hours to six days after being exposed to contaminated items

The elderly, infants, and people with compromised immune systems may be at increased risk. 

For more on this recall and what health officials are doing to contain this outbreak, follow this link