The Margin: Salmonella outbreak in 37 states linked to onions imported from Mexico


Officials have linked a salmonella outbreak across 37 states to whole red, yellow and white onions that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed nationwide by ProSource Inc.

As of Oct. 18, a total 652 people infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella Oranienburg have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 417 cases where information is available, 31% were hospitalized. There have been no reported deaths linked to the outbreak.

Texas and Oklahoma have been hardest hit by the outbreak, with 158 reported cases in Texas and 98 reported in Oklahoma so far.

The CDC said the outbreak dates range from May 31 to Sept. 30. ProSource told the CDC the onions in question were last imported on Aug. 27, but onions can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses.

The CDC advises to check to see if your onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed by ProSource. If your onions do not have any packaging indicating where they’re from, do not eat them and throw them away.

Wash any surfaces that may have come into contact with the onions using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, and symptoms can start anywhere from six hours to six days after ingesting the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment four to seven days after becoming ill. However, young children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems can experience illness that requires medical treatment or hospitalization.

The CDC advises you to contact your health provider if you have any of these salmonella symptons:

Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F

Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving

Bloody diarrhea

So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down

Signs of dehydration, including not urinating much, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up

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