The CDC has issued an alert following an investigation of imported onions.
Might want to check in on the items in your produce drawer: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a food safety alert on October 20, 2021 after 650 people in 37 states have become sick from what the agency believes were onions tainted with salmonella.
An FDA investigation has traced the outbreak to whole red, white, and yellow onions that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico over the summer and distributed by ProSource Produce, a company based in Hailey, Idaho. The last import of this bad batch came August 27, according to ProSource, but it's possible that the onions are still in some grocery stores and restaurants and will be into November, as they can last around three months.
The effects of salmonella poisoning can result in unpleasant symptoms like fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, and is rarely fatal, but so far 129 people have been hospitalized from this outbreak. As a result, both the CDC and FDA have encouraged restaurants, stores, and at-home cooks to examine their onions to see if they have stickers or packaging referencing a connection to ProSource or Mexico, and to discard those—but to be safest, to toss any whole red, white, and yellow onions they've got until people stop getting sick. ProSource has also voluntarily recalled the onions.
Additionally, the CDC has urged folks to wash any surfaces and containers that may have interacted with these contaminated onions using hot, soapy water. If nothing else, the outbreak is a solid excuse to clean those shriveled onions and their skins out of your fridge, and give kitchen surfaces a solid scrubdown.
This story originally appeared on: Prevention.com - Author:Kaitlin Menza