November 28, 2021

Onions Are Linked to the Salmonella Oranienburg Outbreak, 652 Sickened

The CDC says that onions are linked to the Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak that has now sickened at least 652 people in 37 states, an increase of 60 more patients since the last update six days ago. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence has found that whole red, white, and yellow onions distributed by ProSource Inc. that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico are linked to this outbreak.

Onions Are Linked to the Salmonella Oranienburg Outbreak, 652 Sickened

The case count by state is: Alabama (3), Arkansas (12), California (9), Colorado (1), Connecticut (4), Florida (5), Georgia (2), Illinois (37), Indiana (1), Iowa (3), Kansas (14), Kentucky (9), Louisiana (5), Maryland (48), Massachusetts (12), Michigan (9), Minnesota (23), Mississippi (2), Missouri (21), Nebraska (8), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (8), New York (12), North Carolina (14), North Dakota (4), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (98), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (7), South Carolina (3), South Dakota (8), Tennessee (10), Texas (158), Utah (3), Virginia (59), West Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (25). West Virginia was added to the case count. One hundred twenty-nine people are now hospitalized, an increase of 13 more patients since the last update.

The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 97 years. Of 417 people who gave information to investigators, 129, or 31%, have been hospitalized. The illness onset dates range from May 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021. This outbreak may still grow, and it’s likely that the case count is much larger than indicated.

The onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the country. The onions were last imported on August 27 2021, but they can last up to there months in storage, so still may be in business and consumer pantries. Investigators are working to see if other onions and suppliers are linked to this outbreak.

Check your pantry carefully to see if you have any of these onions. They are red, white and yellow onions. They may have stickers or packaging indicating the brand of ProSource Inc., and the country (Mexico), where they were grown. If you can’t tell where the onions are from, do not eat them and do not use them in cooking. Clean your pantry and any surfaces the onions may have touched with hot soapy water. And wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the onions.

This is not the first time onions have caused illness. Last year, a huge Salmonella outbreak linked to Thomson International onions sickened at least 1,127 people in 48 states. A packing facility and multiple farms in California were implicated in that outbreak.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with food poisoning, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Noted food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker, who has represented many patients in Salmonella lawsuits against producers, processors, grocery stores, and restaurants, said, “It’s a relief that the FDA has solved this outbreak. Now that we know the culprit, we are hopeful that the outbreak will stop growing so rapidly.”

In interviews, ill people answered questions about what they ate before they got sick. Of 193 people who talked to investigators, 145, or 75%, said they ate or maybe ate raw onions or dishes that likely contained raw onions. Several ill people said they ate at the same restaurants, which were not named, which means they may be part of illness clusters. States identified 20 illness clusters at restaurants where onions were served.

An FDA traceback investigation identified ProSoure Inc. as a common supplier of imported onions to many of the restuarnst where ill persons ate. One of these clusters occurred in a restaurant where investigators identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg in a condiment container. The sick person reported that the condiment cup had also contained onions, but none were left in the cup when the condiment was tested.

If you have eaten onions, especially raw onions, at restaurants or at home, and have been ill with the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, which include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and bloody diarrhea, see your doctor. You may be part of this Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Salmonella Oranienburg infection after eating ProSource Inc. red, white, or yellow onions, either at home or at a restaurant, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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