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Red Onions Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 1208 in US and Canada

Posted in Our Blog,Salmonella on July 30, 2020

Red Onions have sickened 1208 people in the US and Canada.  For weeks the CDC and Public Health Agency of Canada have been investigating a mystery Salmonella outbreak.  Until today, the cause of this Salmonella outbreak remained a mystery.  But on July 30, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced that, “Investigators have determined that red onions imported from the United States (U.S.) are a likely source of the outbreak.”  Many of the patients reported eating red onions before getting Salmonella food poisoning.

Red Onions Salmonella Outbreak Warning

The Public Health Agency of Canada has advised, “Until more is known about the outbreak, individuals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are advised to not eat any red onions imported to Canada from the U.S., including any food products that contain raw red onions imported from U.S.. Retailers and restaurants in these locations are also advised not to use, sell or serve red onions imported from the U.S. Red onions grown in Canada are not affected by this advice.”

Canadian health investigators report that, “Traceback information indicates that the contaminated red onions are being imported to Canada from the U.S. and distributed in central and western Canada. Red onions grown in Canada are not associated with this outbreak. More information is needed to determine the cause of contamination in red onions imported from the U.S. The outbreak is ongoing, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to the PHAC.”

How Many Sick in Onions Salmonella Outbreak?

Graphic of the U.S. map with persons infected by state of residence as of August 18, 2020.

            In United States

The red onions Salmonella outbreak is growing.  In the United States at least 869 people have gotten Salmonella food poisoning.  85 people have been hospitalized.  The CDC reports the US case count by state, in the red onions Salmonella outbreak:

State Ill People
Alaska 15
Alabama 1
Arizona 35
Arkansas 2
California 115
Colorado 25
Connecticut 2
Delaware 2
Florida 5
Georgia 6
Hawaii 3
Idaho 34
Illinois 49
Indiana 3
Iowa 23
Kansas 2
Kentucky 1
Maine 5
Maryland 7
Massachusetts 2
Michigan 44
Minnesota 18
Mississippi 4
Missouri 10
Montana 63
Nebraska 10
Nevada 11
New Hampshire 1
New Jersey 2
New Mexico 1
New York 10
North Carolina 5
North Dakota 9
Ohio 11
Oregon 94
Pennsylvania 15
Rhode Island 2
South Carolina 1
South Dakota 20
Tennessee 5
Texas 2
Utah 105
Virginia 10
Washington 50
West Virginia 2
Wisconsin 10
Wyoming 17
Total 869

Graphic chart of Salmonella outbreak with numbers of people and dates of illness ans of August 18, 2020.

In Canada

In Canada, at least 339 people have gotten Salmonella food poisoning.  48 people have been hospitalized in the red onions Salmonella outbreak.  Here is the latest Canadian case count: British Columbia (78), Alberta (208), Saskatchewan (19), Manitoba (19), Ontario (8), Quebec (6) and Prince Edward Island (1). The individual from Prince Edward Island reported traveling to Alberta before becoming ill. Saskatchewan has not reported any confirmed illnesses related to this outbreak, but provincial public health authorities are investigating some Salmonella Newport illnesses in the province.

Recalls

In Canada, several recalls have occurred linked to onions imported from the US.

For consumers and retailers

For hotels, restaurants, institutions and manufacturers

There is no evidence to suggest that onions grown in Canada are associated with this outbreak. Onions imported from the United States are under investigation.

In the United States, several recalls have also occurred:

Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California recalled Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions shipped from May 1, 2020 through the present.

Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

The onions were distributed in 5 lbs. carton. 10 lbs. carton. 25 lbs. carton. 40 lbs. carton, 50 lbs. carton. bulk, 2 lb. mesh sacks, and 3 lb. mesh sacks, 5 lb. mesh sacks, 10 lb. mesh sacks 25 lbs. mesh sacks, 50 lbs. mesh sacks under the brand names Thomson  Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.

Food Products

Taylor Farms Recall

Store Name Product Description UPC Best If Used By Date Lot Codes Products Shipped to Select Stores in These States
Kroger Taylor Farms Macaroni Salad, 9.9 oz. container 030223015642 8/5/2020
8/6/2020
TFD212
TFD213
LA, TX
Kroger Taylor Farms Rotini Pasta Salad, 10 oz. container 030223002789 8/5/2020
8/6/2020
TFD212
TFD213
LA, TX
Kroger Taylor Farms Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich, 6.25 oz. 03223028611 8/3/2020
8/4/2020
TFD212
TFD213
LA, TX
Walmart Marketside Diced Yellow Onion 3/8″, 8 oz. tray 681131328739 8/11/2020 TFD212 CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, ND, NE, OK, SD
Walmart Marketside Diced Mirepoix, 10 oz. tray 681131276511 8/10/2020 TFD212 CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, ND, NE, OK, SD
Walmart Marketside Fajita Stir Fry, 8 oz. tray 681131093026 8/10/2020 TFD212 CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, ND, NE, OK, SD
Walmart Taylor Farms Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich, 6.25 oz. 030223110095 8/4/2020
8/5/2020
TFD212
TFD213
TX

Spokane Produce Recall

ITEM NUMBER PRODUCT NAME SIZE BEST BY DATE
83260 Saddlin’ Up Salsa Hot 15 oz 8/16/2020
83259 Saddlin’ Up Salsa Medium 15 oz 9/30/2020
83259 Saddlin’ Up Salsa Medium 15 oz 8/5/2020
83258 Saddlin’ Up Salsa Mild 15 oz 8/11/2020
84032 Salsa Verde 15 oz 8/26/2020
84044 Salsa Verde Gallon 9/28/2020
84044 Salsa Verde Gallon 8/11/2020

Progressive Produce Recall

Progressive Produce LLC is voluntarily recalling a very limited quantity of red and yellow onions as a result of a recall initiated by Thomson International, Inc., which supplied affected onions to Progressive Produce.

The recalled products were sold on the West Coast, at Trader Joe’s (conventional red onions sold only in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah stores) and Ralph’s (conventional yellow onions sold only in California stores). The onions are sold loose in bulk bins. The red onions have a PLU sticker with the brand name Pacific Gold. No other Progressive Produce onions or other products are impacted by this recall.

Giant Eagle Recall

TUSCAN CHICKEN SALAD 20500200000
MD CAPRESE SALAD 20660900000
CHICKPEA & CARROT SALAD GREEK DRESSING 20686300000
SPINACH SALAD WITH RANCH DRESSING 20730400000
GREEN BEAN PORTABELLA 21660900000
HALF ITALIAN SUB 21665100000
FARMERS SALAD 21738800000
CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD 22657400000
MD BLT SALAD 22657700000
MD BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD 22658400000
COUNTRY STYLE PASTA SALAD FRENCH DRESSING 22658500000
GREEK SALAD LARGE 22660900000
GRILLED VEGETABLES 22664600000
MD GREEK SALAD WITH GREEK DRESSING 22665100000
MD G&G GREEK SALAD 22667100000
GE EGG & BACON SALAD WITH FRENCH DRESSING 23657100000
MD PHILLY STYLE STEAK STROMBOLI COLD 23660700000
CAJUN STYLE CHICKEN MEAL 23662500000
MD DIP-REUBEN 23665100000
MD GREEK SALAD WITH BALSAMIC DRESSING 23676600000
STUFFING BALLS S0678/1602 24658700000
22INCH ITALIAN HOAGIE 24659500000
SPECIALTY 12″ ITALIAN HOAGIE 24660600000
CHEESEBURGER PIZZA SLICE 25048600000
PHILLY STEAK PIZZA SLICE 25049300000
PIEROGIE LASAGNA ROLL UP 25049400000
HOMEMADE MACARONI SALAD 25060700000
SPANIKOPITA 25061200000
12″ DELUXE PIZZA 25065000000
DELUXE ITALIAN PARTY HOAGIE 25067800000
VEGETABLE PIZZA SLICE 25070900000
12″ VEGETABLE PIZZA 25071800000
SHEET VEGETABLE PIZZA 25085100000
STUFFED BONE IN CHICKEN BREAST GOURMET 25086400000
STUFFED BONELESS CHICKEN BREAST GOURMET 25086700000
STUFFED TURKEY BREAST GOURMET 25086800000
POTATO AND CHEESE PIEROGIES 25089000000
COLD ITALIAN HERO, 12″ 25089400000
ITALIAN HERO, 6″, COLD 25093400000
SPINACH DIP DELI SERVICE CASE 25118000000
SPINACH DIP GRAB & GO 25118500000
MD EGG & BACON SALAD WITH LITE BALSAMIC DRESS 25118600000
CUCUMBER SALAD 25139500000
SANDWICH TOPPERS PLATTER -UP TO 25 SANDWICHES 25139600000
ZUCHINNI PANCAKES 27665100000
SAUSAGE PEPPERS AND ONIONS OVER PENNE 27697700000
MD S&F: SMOKE-STACKED SANDWICH 27751700000
CALIFORNIA COBB – SMALL 28659400000

Publix Recall

Publix Super Markets issued a voluntary recall for red onions, packaged by Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.  The red onions were sold in bulk merchandise displays in the produce department in Publix stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Publix stores in Florida are not impacted by this recall. Bulk red onions contain the product look-up number (PLU) 4082. All lot codes shipped to Publix in the month of July are involved with this recall.

Protect Your Family in the Red Onions Salmonella Outbreak

Avoid red onions and any food containing raw red onions.

Check your pantry for red onions, including whole, sliced, or chopped, as well as prepared foods that contain red onions as an ingredient, such as premade salads, sandwiches, wraps, or dips.

  • If you have red onions at home:
    • Look for a label showing where the red onion was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.
    • If the packaging or sticker shows that it is from the U.S., don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • If it isn’t labeled, don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • If you don’t know whether the red onion found in a premade salad, sandwich, wrap or dip contains red onion from the U.S., don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in areas (such as fridges and cupboards) where red onions were stored.
  • If you buy red onions at a store:
    • Look for a label showing where the red onion was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.
    • If the packaging shows that it is from the U.S., don’t buy it.
    • If it is an unpackaged product, or is not labelled, ask the retailer whether the red onion comes from the U.S.
    • If you can’t confirm that the red onion in stores is not from the U.S., don’t buy it.
  • If you order salad or any other food item containing red onions at a restaurant or food establishment, ask the staff whether the red onions come from the U.S. If they did, or they don’t know, don’t eat it.
  • Restaurants and retailers should check the label on bags or boxes of red onions, or ask their suppliers about the source of their red onions.
  • Suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell red onions imported from the U.S.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not cook food for other people.
  • Contact your local public health authority to report any food safety concerns at restaurants or grocery stores, or if you suspect food poisoning from a restaurant or other food establishments.

What Are Salmonella Symptoms?

Most people with a Salmonella infection experience:

  • Diarrhea (that can be bloody)
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

Some people may also have nausea, vomiting, or a headache. Symptoms usually start within 6 hours–4 days after infection and last 4–7 days.

More Serious Salmonella Symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody stools
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Making very little urine
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Dizziness when standing up

What You Need To Know About Salmonella

CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses.

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.
  • However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Diagnosing salmonellosis requires testing a clinical specimen (such as stool or blood) from an infected person to distinguish it from other illnesses that can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Once Salmonella is identified in the specimen, additional testing can be done to further characterize the Salmonella.

How The Lange Law Firm Can Help

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on helping families in food poisoning lawsuits and contaminated water lawsuits.

If you got Salmonella food poisoning in the Red Onions Salmonella Outbreak and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help.  Our Salmonella lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your Salmonella food poisoning.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.

By: Attorney Jory Lange