Last week, we told you about Salmonella contamination leading to a massive onion recall. At the time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were conducting a traceback investigation to determine the source of the Salmonella outbreak. Now, officials believe they were correct in their earlier assessment that onions from Thomson International, Inc. are the source of these widespread foodborne illnesses.
The investigation is ongoing as cases continue to rise in the United States and Canada.
Onion Recall Expands as More Illnesses are Reported
When we first told readers about the Salmonella outbreak possibly linked to onions, there were just under 400 illness reports in 34 states. Now, just days later, there are at least 640 illness reports in 43 states. Furthermore, at least 85 people have been hospitalized.
Now, the onion recall is expanding to include ready-to-eat products that may contain the contaminated onions. The CDC says,
“If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t eat, serve, or sell them or any food prepared with them.”
Any onions distributed by Thomson International, Inc. should be avoided, including red, white and yellow onions. Some of the more popular retailers that are affected by the recall include:
- Food Lion
- Fred Meyer
- Giant Eagle
There are also several brand names that are affected, and several companies are starting to recall products that may contain these onions. Taylor Farms and Giant Eagle are both recalling certain batches of products that contain onions, such as chicken salad, fajita stir fry and macaroni salad.
If you have these products in your home, the CDC says you should throw them away immediately. If you have other products containing onions and you are not sure where the onions came from, it is also best not to consume them. The CDC says,
“Do not eat them or try to cook the onions or other food to make it safe.”
You cannot remove the risk of Salmonella exposure just by cooking the contaminated food. Officials urge restaurants, retailers, distributors and suppliers to check their stock of onions and make sure that they do not expose anyone to the products in this onion recall.
What to Do if You Suspect you Have Salmonella
The symptoms of Salmonella are similar to many other digestive conditions, so it may be hard to tell if you have it. Your best bet is to contact your doctor if you have recently eaten store-bought fresh onions or products that may contain Thomson International onions. Tell your doctor that you have recently eaten onions that may be subject to this onion recall.
Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms, such as:
- Stomach cramps
Anyone who eats food that contains Salmonella bacteria can become sick. Certain people, however, are more likely to experience a more severe illness. These people include:
- Infants and children
- The elderly
- People with a weak immune system
- Pregnant women
Among these people, more severe symptoms may result, including bloody stools, rash, high fever and lethargy. In rare cases, Salmonella can also migrate from your digestive tract to other parts of the body. This can cause severe illness and complications that require medical attention. Do not underestimate Salmonella infections.
Reporting Salmonella Related to the Onion Recall
If you have a Salmonella diagnosis and believe it is due to onions that are subject to this recall, you can report your illness to Thomson International. You should definitely report the diagnosis to the FDA and CDC, as this is a tremendous help in their ongoing investigation and traceback efforts.
The CDC urges consumers to contact their local health department to report cases of Salmonella. If your doctor diagnoses you with Salmonella, tell the health department about your diagnosis and what you ate prior to your illness.
Have Questions about Your Consumer Rights?
When a food product is under recall, it is natural for you to have concerns that you or your family may become ill. This onion recall may make these concerns even more significant due to the wide availability of onions and products that contain them.
If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights as a consumer, you can find out more information by visiting Bad Food Recall’s website and blog. You can also contact us if you are suffering from a foodborne illness that has caused you harm physically or financially.
To reach one of our legal professionals, call Bad Food Recall at 1-877-534-5750. You can also request more information online by completing our online contact form.