September 27, 2020

Salmonella Newport Onion Outbreak Sickens 640 in 43 States

The Salmonella Newport onion outbreak has now sickened at least 640 people in 43 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eighty-five people have been hospitalized because they are so ill.

Salmonella Newport Onion Outbreak Sickens 640 in 43 States

The case count by state is: Alaska (6), Alabama (1), Arizona (14), California (76), Colorado (14), Connecticut (2), Delaware (1), Florida (3), Georgia (1), Idaho (26), Illinois (41), Indiana (2), Iowa (20), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Maine (4), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (36), Minnesota (14), Mississippi (2), Missouri (6), Montana (52), Nebraska (10), Nevada (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), New York (5), North Carolina (5), North Dakota (8), Ohio (8), Oregon (85), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (5), Utah (90), Virginia (8), Washington (25), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (7), and Wyoming (16).

Illness onset dates range from June 19, 2020 to July 23, 2020. The patient age range is from less than 1 to 102 years old. Of the 343 patients who gave information to the government, 85 have been hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 25%.

There have been many recalls of onions and products made with those onions that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Thomson International issued the first recall on August 1, 2020. Their products have been recalled by many major grocery store chains across the country, including ALDI, Food Lion, Giant Eagle/Market District, Kroger, Publix, Stop & Shop/Giant Food Stores, Smiths, Fry’s, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. Brands that have been recalled include Taylor Farms, Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, and Utah Onions. Products sold at Food Lion and Kroger are branded with those names. Food Poisoning Bulletin is keeping a running list of recalled products for your convenience.

Since the last update on July 31, 2020, an additional 244 ill persons have been reported as part of this outbreak. And ten more states have been added: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and West Virginia. It’s worth noting that in most Salmonella outbreaks, the vast majority of patients never see a doctor. Epidemiologists use the multiplier of 29 for Salmonella outbreaks to estimate the actual number of patients. Which means there could be more than 18,000 people sick.

Twenty-five illness clusters in nine states, which consist of two or more people who did not live in the same household but ate at the same restaurant, attended a common event, or shopped at the same grocery store before they got sick, have been identified. Information collected from those clusters identified Thomson International as the likely source of the red onions originally thought to be the source of the bacteria.

Because of the way onions are grown and harvested, since they come into close contact, white, yellow, and sweet onions have also been recalled. Public health officials are conducting additional traceback to see if other onions or brands are linked to this outbreak.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with salmonellosis in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food producers and processors, said, “Many people don’t think that produce can be contaminated with pathogens that can make you  sick. Unfortunately, outbreaks like this Salmonella Newport onion outbreak prove that no food is completely safe from contamination.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating a Salmonella Newport outbreak that is related by whole genome sequencing to the U.S. outbreak. At least 239 people are sick in Canada.

Look at the recall lists carefully to see if you have any of the recalled onions or products made with them. If you do, or if you aren’t sure whether the onions you have are part of the recall, throw them away. If you order food from a restaurant or buy prepared foods from grocery stores, check to see if they were made with recalled onions. If the server doesn’t know, don’t order those products.

Symptoms of a Salmonella food poisoning infection can include fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, stomach and abdominal pain and cramps, and diarrhea that can be bloody. Symptoms usually start 6 yo 72 hours after exposure. And while most people recover without m medical attention, some can have lifelong complications even after complete recovery that include reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and endocarditis. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Salmonella Newport infection after eating recalled onions or foods made with those onions, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

 

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