FOOD SAFETY ALERT: CDC links 25 Salmonella cases in WI, 36 other states to onions


(WFRV) – The CDC has issued a food safety alert after seeing a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections.

According to the CDC website, the outbreak has impacted 652 people so far, 25 of those from Wisconsin. Of the total people impacted, 129 were hospitalized.

CDC officials say epidemiologic and traceback data show that one source of infections in this outbreak is whole red, white, and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed throughout the United States by ProSource Inc.

What should you do?

CDC officials are advising people who have unlabeled whole red, white, or yellow onions at home to throw them away and not eat them. You are asked to do the same if the onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed by ProSource Inc.

People are also advised to wash surfaces and containers that may have touched the onions using hot soapy water or a dishwasher and contact a healthcare provider if they have severe Salmonella symptoms.

They ask people to not eat, and businesses should not sell or serve, whole onions that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed by ProSource Inc.

Interviews with sick people show that 75% of people ate or possibly ate raw onions or dishes likely containing raw onions before they became sick, according to CDC. Several ill people reported eating at the same restaurants, indicating they may be part of illness clusters.

Salmonella symptoms

On the CDC website, they say most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramping 6 hours to 6 days after eating contaminated food.

Health officials explain how the illness will usually last 4-7 days, with most people recovering without treatment.

However, they say the illness may be severe for some people, leading to hospitalization. Children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe symptoms, reports the CDC.

CDC officials say you should call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

Investigators are working to determine if other onions or suppliers are linked to this outbreak. For more information about Salmonella, see the Salmonella Questions and Answers page.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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