September 24, 2021

Thomson International Onion Salmonella Outbreak Number One of 2020

The Thomson International onion Salmonella Newport outbreak was the number one multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2020, sickening at least 1,127 people in 48 states. One hundred sixty seven people were hospitalized because they were so sick.

Thomson International Onion Salmonella Outbreak Number One of 2020

The case count by state is: Alaska (25), Alabama (2), Arizona (39), Arkansas (2), California (128), Colorado (32), Connecticut (2), Delaware (2), Florida (8), Georgia (11), Hawaii (3), Idaho (43), Illinois (54), Indiana (4), Iowa (31), Kansas (3), Kentucky (3), Maine (6), Maryland (7), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (47), Minnesota (19), Mississippi (5), Missouri (11), Montana (72), Nebraska (10), Nebraska (10), Nevada (11), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (12), New Mexico (3), New York (14), North Carolina (6), North Dakota (9), Ohio (11), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (109), Pennsylvania (27), Rhode Island (3), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (23), Tennessee (7), Texas (2), Utah (115), Virginia (10), Washington (150), West Virginia (3), Wisconsin (11), and Wyoming (27). Illness onset dates ranged from June 19, 2020 to September 11, 2020. The patient age range was from less than 1 year to 102.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence showed that red onions from Thomson International were the likely source of this outbreak. Other onion types such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow were also likely to be contaminated since those types are all grown and harvested together.

In interviews with investigators, patients answered questions about the foods they ate the week before they got sick. Ninety-one percent of those patients said they ate onions or foods likely containing onions. Most, or 66%, ate red onions, while 63% date white onions, and 53% ate yellow onions. Most said they ate more than one type of onion.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International recalled all red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions from the marketplace. Other companies recalled onions and foods made with those onions.

Noted food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with Salmonella bacteria in lawsuits, said, “No food that is contaminated with enough bacteria to make someone sick should be sold to consumers. This huge outbreak shows that corporations need to do a better job producing safe foods.”

The symptoms of a Salmonella food poisoning infection include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal and stomach pain and cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. While most people recover on their own without medical treatment, some do get sick enough to be hospitalized. And some people develop long term health complications after this infection, including reactive arthritis and endocarditis.

If you have been experiencing those symptoms, especially after eating onions, see your doctor. You may be part of this Thomson International onion Salmonella Newport outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

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

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