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The huge salmonella onion recall just got even bigger

Published Aug 24th, 2020 12:36PM EDT
onion recall hellofresh
Image: FDA

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  • Onion recall over salmonella contamination has spread to meal delivery service HelloFresh. 
  • HelloFresh sourced some of its onions from the distributor linked to the salmonella infections and hundreds of cases nationwide.
  • If you have any potentially contaminated onions, throw them out immediately and sanitize any surface they may have touched.

It’s now been nearly a month since the FDA and CDC announced a massive recall of onions sold across the United States under various brand and store names. At first, the recall included just the raw onions themselves but has since spread to many products containing onions from the same distributor.

Now, one of the most popular meal delivery services has announced that it has been shipping potentially contaminated onions for months. HelloFresh, which sends pre-packaged meal delivery kits to homes from coast to coast, has a huge list of product codes for meal kits containing onions that may be tainted with Salmonella.

The meals were produced starting in early May through late July, and spans a total of 12 production weeks. As you can see, that’s a whole lot of meals.

HelloFresh recall
The recalled HelloFresh meal codes. Image source: FDA

This is obviously a pretty big deal since HelloFresh sends out a lot of meals to homes every week, and including something that can potentially spread illness is, well, bad. However, as the CDC notes, even if you happened to eat the onions, and they were indeed tainted with Salmonella, you might still be fine if you followed the instructions of the recipes carefully.

HelloFresh explains:

As noted above, customers should immediately discard all onions received. We also recommend extra caution in disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and containers that may have come in direct contact with these products, as recommended by the FDA. In the event that the onions have been consumed, please note that thoroughly cooking the product to 165ºF/74ºC, as instructed by the recipe, will kill the salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella infections are typically characterized by symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The illness typically clears up on its own, but individuals with compromised immune systems and children and the elderly are at risk of developing more serious conditions.

As of the latest tally, 869 people across the United States have fallen ill from the contaminated onions. Of those individuals, 116 have had to be hospitalized over their illness. Thankfully, there have been no deaths reported thus far.

Here’s the rundown of infections by state: AK (15), AL (1), AZ (35), AR (2), CA (115), CO (25), CT (2), DE (2), FL (5), GA (6), HI (3), ID (34), IL (49), IN (3), IA (23), KS (2), KY (1), ME (5), MD (7), MA (2), MI (44), MN (18), MS (4), MO (10), MT (63), NE (10), NV (11), NH (1), NJ (2), NM (1), NY (10), NC (5), ND (9), OH (11), OR (94), PA (15), RI (2), SC (1), SD (20), TN (5), TX(2), UT (105), VA (10), WA (50), WV (2), WI (10), and WY (17).

As you can see, it’s a widespread problem and one that is not to be taken lightly. If you believe you have any of these tainted onions in your home, throw them out immediately.

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