Red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions shipped to stores nationwide from May 1 to present are being recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.
The brands linked to the recalled onions include Thomson International, Majestic, Onions 52, Food Lion, Tender Loving Care, Thomson Premium, Imperial Fresh, Hartley’s Best, Kroger, Utah Onions and El Competidor.
Three people have reportedly fallen ill from the onions in North Carolina. Nationwide, 396 people have fallen ill and 59 have been hospitalized.
“Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve red, white, yellow, or sweet onions from Thomson International Inc. or products containing such onions,” according to a recall notice posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. “If you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International Inc., or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out.”
Discard the onions and disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the onions, the release states.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems, according to the recall notice. “Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.”
Thomson International Inc.’s onions from Bakersfield, California were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella that may be linked to the onions.
“As of now no specific source of contamination or contaminated shipment has been identified, and FDA is also investigating other potential sources of contamination and has not yet reached a final conclusion,” the notice states.