The recent Salmonella Newport outbreak that has hit the U.S and infected nearly 400 people may be linked to several onion brands, according to announcements from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control.
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Thomson International Inc., a California-based grower, packer, shipper and supplier was named in the government agencies' public safety announcements, which noted that the company has voluntarily recalled a variety of onions for potential Salmonella contamination.
The onions that are in question were shipped from May 1 to present and were distributed in cartons weighing between five and 50 pounds and mesh sacks between two and 50 pounds. Red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions are included in the recall among Thomson's 11 brands, including: Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley's Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.
The FDA and CDC have urged customers, retailers and restaurants to throw out the recalled products, plus any onions that do not disclose a source of origin.
As of Sunday, 396 people have contracted a salmonella-related illness in 34 states, according to recent data from the CDC. Fifty-nine of these cases have required hospitalization.
The four states with the highest number of reported infections are Oregon, 71; Utah, 61; California, 49 and Montana, 33.
Salmonella infections can cause diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps and other symptoms. Most people tend to recover without treatment.
For individuals who suspect they might have a salmonella infection, the CDC advises speaking with a health care provider and keeping details notes of what was eaten the week before symptoms showed up. Salmonella takes an average of two to four weeks to show.
Given the dormant period of the bacterial infection, it is possible that there are more infections the CDC is unaware of. On July 22, the number of salmonella Infections was at 125.
The FDA and CDC say they are continuing their investigation and have not reached a final conclusion.
States with discovered Salmonella Newport strains:
-New York: 4
-North Carolina: 3
-North Dakota: 5
-South Carolina: 1
-South Dakota: 11