CDC issues warning on onions

The Centers for Disease Control is warning that some red, white and yellow onions have been found to contain salmonella.

According to the CDC, onions shipped from Chihuahua, Mexico, between July 1, 2021, and August 31, 2021, have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.

The onions have currently sickened more than 650 people in 37 states, including Louisiana. Nearly 130 individuals have been sent to the hospital because of salmonella.

Officials stated that ProSource Produce LLC and Keeler Family Farms have recalled whole raw red, white, and yellow onions that were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States. The onions were last imported Aug. 31, but they may last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses.

The CDC recommends that businesses check storage coolers for these onions. If owners cannot tell where they are from, throw them away and then wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.

For individuals, the CDC said for onions already purchased, if they don’t know where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them. Throw away any recalled whole raw red, white or yellow onions.

Individuals should check to see if they have any recalled onions. If they do have any recalled onions or if don’t know where the onions are from, do not eat them. Throw them away. Wash surfaces and containers these onions may have touched using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

Most people infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after four to seven days. Some people – especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems – may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

Severe salmonella symptoms requiring medical attention include the following: 

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up