December 7, 2022

Most Onion Salmonella Patients In TX, OK, MO, IL, VA, MD, FL, WI, MN

The fresh onion Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak has ended, but the investigation continues. Most onion Salmonella patients live in nine states: Texas (248), Oklahoma (129), Florida (75), Virginia (71), Maryland (66), Missouri (59), Illinois (54), Wisconsin (31), and Minnesota (27). Those patients make up 73% of the total cases. At least 1,040 Americans in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. were included in the official case count, which, according to epidemiologists and the outbreak multiplier, means that there could be more than 30,000 Americans sickened.

Most Onion Salmonella Patients In TX, OK, MO, IL, VA, MD, FL, WI, MN

At least 260 of 778 people interviewed were hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 33%, more than 50% higher than the typical rate for a Salmonella outbreak. The patient age range was from less than one year to 101.

Outbreak Timeline

This outbreak took a long time to be solved. It was first announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 17, 2021. On September 2, 2021, investigators first became aware of the outbreak when just 20 patients were identified, but that number exploded to 127 sick in 25 states just 13 days later on September 15. By September 21, the case count was 279 and growing rapidly.

Several restaurant clusters helped investigators solve the outbreak. On September 24, 2021, the CDC said that the outbreak strain was found in a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The cup also contained onions, but none were left to test. By September 30, 2021, the outbreak case count included 419 people in 35 states.

Finally, on October 20, 2021, the CDC and FDA announced that the outbreak was linked to onions that had been imported from Chihuahua, Mexico. Epidemiological and traceback evidence through restaurant information linked those onions, imported by ProSource Inc., to the outbreak. By that time the case count was 652 patients in 37 states. As the investigation continued, Keeler Family Farms was added as another onion importer.

The Recalls

Several recalls were issued, of the onions themselves and products made from them. The recalled products included whole fresh yellow, red, and white onions as well as products made and sold by food delivery services.

Since onions do have a long shelf life, it is possible that some onions may still be in consumers’ pantries. And if frozen food items were made with those onions, they could be in home freezers. Check your pantry and freezer carefully to make sure you do not have any of these recalled products; freezing does not destroy Salmonella bacteria. If you do have some, or if you aren’t sure, throw them away even if some has been eaten and no one has been sick.

Long Term Complications Can Occur

Most onion Salmonella patients were not hospitalized, but that doesn’t mean they are home free. Even after complete recovery, some people can experience long term complications of a Salmonella infection that can include endocarditis, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, and Reiter’s syndrome, which can include reactive arthritis.

If you did eat any of the recalled onions or products made with them, and were ill with the symptoms of Salmonella, which can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, make a note of it. If you do develop one of those illnesses, see your doctor.

Food Poisoning Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Salmonella Oranienburg or other brands of these bagged salads, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, food processors. and restaurants.

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