Health officials are warning consumers in all 50 states to use caution when purchasing onions from supermarkets. Officials believe that certain lots of red, white, yellow and yellow sweet onions may be contaminated with Salmonella. So far, at least 396 illnesses are reported, including 59 hospitalizations. Officials are concerned that more foodborne illnesses may result.
Massive Onion Recall Stems from Salmonella Contamination
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Thomson International is recalling all white, red, yellow and sweet yellow onions that were shipped between May 1, 2020 and the present. The onions were shipped to distributors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and parts of Canada.
Consumers who regularly purchase fresh onions should be cautious to avoid exposure to Salmonella, which can cause serious illness in some people. Consumers can identify the products in the onion recall by the following:
- Thomson Premium
- TLC Thomson International
- Tender Loving Care
- El Competitor
- Hartley’s Best
- Onions 52
- Imperial Fresh
- Utah Onions
- Food Lion
The products were distributed in the following packages:
- 5, 10, 25, 40 and 50 pound cartons
- Bulk 2, 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50 pound mesh sacks
The FDA warns consumers to avoid these products. The onions were distributed to warehouses, supermarkets and restaurants. The FDA is also warning restaurants to make sure that they are not serving possibly contaminated onions to consumers.
You can view photos of the packages in the FDA’s Company Announcement. If you have any onions that match this description, you should throw them away. Do not take a chance that you exposure yourself or others to Salmonella.
Risks of Salmonella Exposure
Salmonella is a group of bacteria that causes infection in the digestive tract. This infection is Salmonellosis. There are more than 2,300 types of Salmonella bacteria, but only around a dozen cause infections in humans.
Most people who develop a Salmonella infection experience mild discomfort. Common symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle pain
Generally, these symptoms last less than a week. In some cases, however, some symptoms may linger for up to two weeks.
There are a few complications of Salmonella infection that, while rare, are serious. These complications include:
- Dehydration – Severe dehydration can be serious. Be mindful of a decrease in urination, dry mouth or sunken eyes.
- Bacteremia – If Salmonella enters the bloodstream, it can cause infection in tissue, including the brain (meningitis), bone marrow (osteomyelitis) and heart (endocarditis).
- Reactive arthritis – Reactive arthritis is persistent joint pain stemming from Salmonella This condition can last for months or even years after the infection itself resolves.
People who are most at risk for severe Salmonella infection or complications are infants and children, elderly, pregnant women and people who have a weak immune system.
What to do if You Have Salmonella Related to the Onion Recall
If you have consumed any of the onions in this onion recall and have since been diagnosed with Salmonella, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Salmonella is generally not dangerous, but it is best to make sure you are getting proper care so you can avoid complications.
You can also report your illness to the FDA, which can help them continue their investigation into what is quickly becoming a multi-state outbreak. To report an adverse event, you can contact the FDA through MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
If you have questions about your legal rights as a consumer, you can also contact Bad Food Recall. Our legal professionals can help you understand consumer rights and the responsibilities of food producers. If you have suffered financially due to requiring medical care or having to miss work, you may be able to recover those damages. Bad Food Recall can help you find out.
To speak with one of our legal professionals, call us at 1-877-534-5750. You can also request more information by completing our online contact form.