September 27, 2020

Canadian Salmonella Onion Outbreak Sickens 457 in 7 Provinces

The Canadian Salmonella onion outbreak has now sickened at least 457 people in seven provinces. This is and increase of 78 more cases since the last update on August 21, 2020. There is a Salmonella outbreak linked to onions in the U.S. that has sickened at least 869 people in 47 states. Illnesses in both countries are related through a similar genetic fingerprint.

Canadian Salmonella Onion Outbreak Sickens 457 in 7 Provinces

The outbreak in both countries is linked to red onions imported into the country from the United States. Several recalls of red, yellow, white, and sweet onions from Thomson International of Bakersfield, California have been issued in relation to this outbreak. Other varieties of onions are also recalled because of the potential for cross-contamination. Onions grown in Canada are not part of this outbreak.

The case count by province is: British Columbia (107), Alberta (257), Saskatchewan (33), Manitoba (25), Ontario (11), Quebec (23) and Prince Edward Island (1). The patient age range is between 1 and 100 years of age. The illness onset dates range from mid June and early August 2020. One person has died, but officials do not know if Salmonella contributed to the cause of death. Sixty-six people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. People who are sick reported that they ate red onions at home, in restaurants, and in residential care settings.

Check your home for red, white, yellow, and sweet onion varieties, including whole, sliced, or chopped onions, and any prepared foods that are made with onions, such as salads, sandwiches, wraps, dips, salsas, or guacamole. Look for a label on the onion package or product. If the packaging or sticker shows it is from Thomson International, don’t eat it. If the product is not labeled, or if you aren’t sure what brand it is, don’t eat it.

Throw away these onions and products in a sealed container, or take them back to the store where you purchased them for a full refund. Clean the area where you stored the onions or products with a mild bleach solution, then wash your hands well with soap and water.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection  include a headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal and stomach cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. If you have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You  may be part of this Canadian Salmonella onion outbreak.

 

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