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How to Tell If Your Onions Are Linked to a Salmonella Outbreak

How to Tell If Your Onions Are Linked to a Salmonella Outbreak
 
When we cook with onions, we go in knowing that there’s a decent chance that chopping them raw may cause us to shed some tears. But we generally don’t expect unending diarrhea, a fever, and stomach cramps. Unfortunately, hundreds of people across the country have been experiencing digestive distress thanks to Salmonella infections they got from eating onions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is not a recall, but rather a “food safety alert.” Here’s what to know about the problematic onions, including how to tell if you should throw out the ones you have at home.

What to know about the Salmonella outbreak

The most recent data available on the outbreak is from Oct. 18, 2021, at which point there were 652 reported cases of Salmonella infection across 37 states, including 129 hospitalizations—but fortunately no fatalities—resulting from the ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to onions, the CDC reports.

However, the CDC notes that the actual number is likely much higher, as those with mild cases may not report their illness, and it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a sick person’s illness can be connected with an outbreak.

Where did these onions come from?

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are actively investigating the origin of the outbreak, but as far we know, it may include fresh, whole red, white, and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.

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According to ProSource Inc., the onions were last imported to the United States on August 27, 2021, but because they can last in storage for up to three months, it’s possible they’re still on the shelves in supermarket produce sections across the country.

How to tell if your onions are safe to eat

So how do you know if your onions might make you sick? Start by checking any whole red, white, or yellow onions to see if they have a sticker on them, or come in branded packaging. If so, and if the sticker indicates that the produce was imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc., the CDC says to throw them out.

If your onions don’t have a sticker or come in packaging that tells you where they originated, the CDC also advises throwing those out, just to be safe. And for the time being, when purchasing new onions from the store, the CDC recommends sticking with ones that have a sticker or packaging indicating that they are not from Chihuahua/ProSource Inc.

Finally, if you have any of the outbreak onions in your home, make sure to wash any surfaces and/or containers they may have touched. The CDC suggests doing this using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

This content was originally published here.