FDA Expands Onion Recall as Officials Investigate California Suppliers

Brian German Fruits & Vegetables

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded an onion recall due to potential Salmonella contamination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that as of August 7, there have been 640 cases reported in 43 states. While there have not been any fatalities linked to the outbreak as of yet, there have been 85 hospitalizations. While the FDA’s traceback investigation continues, the agency has identified Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield as a likely source of contamination.

onion recall

“On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc. recalled all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination,” the FDA said. “In addition, products containing the recalled onions are being identified and recalled. At this time, Giant Eagle and Taylor Farms have recalled products containing recalled onions and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published a list of Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products Containing Recalled Onions.”

The products that have been recalled include red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions that were shipped across the U.S. between May 1 and August 1. The onion recall affects brand names such as Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion. The CDC noted that the illnesses began to be reported between June 19 and July 23.  So far there have been 25 illness clusters that have been identified in nine states, with information from the clusters indicating that many ill people consumed red onions.

“State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started,” the CDC noted. “Additional traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West