CDC says recent salmonella outbreak linked to onions grown in Mexico

Onions imported from Mexico are the source of a recent salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 650 people across 37 states, health officials said Wednesday.

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In a news release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that fresh whole red, white and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed by ProSource Inc., are the source for the salmonella outbreak.

So far, a total of 652 cases of salmonella have been diagnosed so far. That has resulted in 129 hospitalizations, but there have been no deaths, the CDC said.

The onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the U.S., according to the CDC. ProSource said that the onions were last imported on Aug. 27, but because the onions can remain fresh up to three months in storage there is concern that they may still be in homes and businesses.

>> CDC: Salmonella outbreak expands to 35 states; source remains unknown

The CDC is recommending that consumers check storage areas and coolers for the onions. If you cannot tell where they came from, the CDC recommends throwing them away. The CDC also recommends that consumers wash and sanitize any surfaces that might have come in contact with the onions.

According to the CDC’s update, here are the states affected and case counts:

  • Texas: 158
  • Oklahoma: 98
  • Virginia: 59
  • Illinois: 37
  • Maryland: 48
  • Wisconsin: 25
  • Minnesota: 23
  • Missouri: 21
  • Kansas and North Carolina: 14
  • Massachusetts and Arkansas 12 each
  • Tennessee: 10
  • California, Kentucky and Michigan: 9
  • Nebraska, New Mexico and South Dakota: 8
  • Ohio and Pennsylvania: 7
  • Michigan: 6
  • Florida, Louisiana and New Jersey: 5 each
  • Connecticut and North Dakota: 4 each
  • Alabama, Iowa, New York, South Carolina and Utah: 3 each
  • Georgia, Mississippi and Oregon: 2 each
  • Colorado and Iowa: 1 each

According to the CDC, most people who contract salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, with symptoms typically beginning between six hours and six days after swallowing the bacteria. Although the majority of those who become ill usually recover without treatment after four to seven days, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older and immunocompromised people may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

Click here to see the CDC’s state-by-state distribution of cases.