Canadian health officials have identified the source of a rapidly growing Salmonella Newport outbreak as Sysco’s Imperial Fresh brand red onions. Consumers should not eat these onions or products containing them, such as salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas and dips.
Sysco has issued a recall for jumbo red onions sold throughout Canada since May 24, 2000 in 10-pound and 25-pound bags to restaurants, food service establishments, institutional clients and retailers. The recalled 10-pound bags of red onions have the product code 8399925, the recalled 25-pound bags of red onions have the product code 8313967. The recall only includes red onions grown in the U.S.
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As of July 30, 2020, 114 Salmonella Newport illnesses in Canada are confirmed to be part of this outbreak. Sixteen of them were hospitalized, The people sickened, who range in age from 3 to 100, reported eating red onions they purchased at grocery stores, in meals they ordered at restaurants and in meals that were served to them in residential care settings such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The case totals reported from each province are: British Columbia (43), Alberta (55), Manitoba (13), Ontario (2), and Prince Edward Island (1).
Health officials used genetic testing to identify the “fingerprint” of the Salmonella Newport strain associated with this outbreak. It closely resembles the fingerprint of an ongoing Salmonella Newport outbreak in the U.S. that has sickened more than 200 people.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure. They include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Anyone who develops these symptoms after eating red onions or foods containing them should see a doctor. Testing can determine if you are part of this outbreak.
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