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That salmonella onion recall just got even bigger

Published Sep 14th, 2020 3:00PM EDT
onion recall salmonella
Image: FDA

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  • The onion recall over potential salmonella contamination now includes over 1,000 confirmed cases of illness.
  • The onions are sold across the United States in a variety of stores and under multiple brand names.
  • If you have any of the recalled products in your home, throw them out immediately and sanitize anything they may have come into contact with.

It’s now been months since the CDC and FDA announced a widespread recall of onions from a distributor called Thomson International Inc., and any products containing onions from that same source. At first, the recall was isolated to a few story chains but rapidly expanded to include onions sold at places like Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart.

Now, despite news of the outbreak being widely spread, the case count continues to rise, passing 1,000 confirmed infections across 47 US states. Thus far, 136 people have had to be hospitalized due to severe reactions, but luckily no deaths have resulted from the infections.

The recall is incredibly widespread at this point, affecting grocery retails that sell the onions in packages and also use them for their own store-specific dips, sauces, and other specialties. On top of that, restaurants that would normally use the onions have had to be careful about where they get their supplies, and even meal delivery services like HelloFresh have been forced to recall certain meals because they included the potentially tainted onions.

What may be making this whole saga even more complicated is the fact that the potentially contaminated onions are sold under a number of brand names, and include red, white, and yellow onions. When the widespread romaine lettuce recall struck many months ago, it was easy to say “just don’t eat romaine lettuce,” but with all three major varieties of onions included in this recall, it’s a bit more difficult for consumers to ensure they’re not eating something that could make them very, very sick.

The full list of recalled onion products is available on the CDC’s bulletin page. I’d encourage you to visit the page and browse it, as it’s far too long to list here. What I will list here are the brand names under which the onions are sold in packages in most grocery stores:

  • Thomson Premium
  • TLC Thomson International
  • Tender Loving Care
  • El Competitor
  • Hartley’s Best
  • Onions 52
  • Majestic
  • Imperial Fresh
  • Kroger
  • Utah Onions
  • Food Lion

These are various brands and store brands that contain the same onions, and all of them are included as part of this recall. Additionally, the onions are also sold loose in the following stores:

  • Food Lion
  • Giant Eagle
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Ralph’s
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walmart

On top of that, many stories use the onions in their own products. The stores have long since stopped using the tainted onions, but the products may still be in consumers’ homes. Check out the bulletin page for a full rundown of those products.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include cramps, stomach issues, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea which may be bloody. It’s not good, so do your best to avoid these products for the time being and hopefully, the outbreak will be under control sooner rather than later.