Onion Salmonella Outbreak Ends with 1,127 Sick, 167 Hospitalized

The Salmonella outbreak linked to onions produced by Thompson International of Bakersfield, CA and sold under a variety of brand names has ended with 1,127 sick and 167 hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak included illnesses in 48 states and 515 illnesses in a separate outbreak in Canada.

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When the CDC announced the outbreak on July 21, 2020, 125 people in 15 states were sick. Since that time multiple recalls have been issued.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. The people sickened in this outbreak, who range in age from 1 to 102 years old, reported that they first began to experience these symptoms on dates ranging from June 19, 2020 to September 11, 2020.

Health officials used Whole Genome Sequencing to identify the “genetic fingerprint” of Salmonella Newport in outbreak patients. This shows that the people sickened were likely to have shared a common source of infection. Ninety-one percent of patients interviewed by health officials reported eating onions before they became ill. They reported eating onions in foods they prepared at home and in foods they ate at restaurants.

Investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted epidemiological and traceback investigations to discover that red onions produced by Thompson were the likely source of the outbreak. Other types of onions, including white, yellow and sweet yellow onions produced by Thomson were also recalled because of the potential that they were cross-contaminated.

The implicated onions were distributed to grocery stores, restaurants and foodservice companies that prepare foods for nursing homes, schools and other settings.  Grocery store chains affected by the recall include: ALDI, Costco, Food Lion, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Giant, Giant Eagle, Kroger, New Market, Publix, Ralph’s Smiths, Stop & Shop, Trader Joe’s and Walmart.

If you are part of this outbreak and would like a free consultation with an experienced Salmonella lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Salmonella Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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