Nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to fresh onions; no illnesses reported in RI

Recalls And Warnings

(File: Getty)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging everyone who’s purchased fresh onions within the past few months to throw them out.

The CDC has been actively investigating a salmonella outbreak for months, and it has officially been traced back to fresh whole red, white and yellow onions distributed nationwide by ProSource Inc.

ProSource said the onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores nationwide.

The company believes the possibly contaminated onions were last imported on Aug. 27, but are concerned they may still be on the shelves and in homes due to the vegetable’s long shelf life.

The first illness was reported on May 31. Since then, the CDC said 627 people from 37 states have been sickened by the onions, 129 of which needed to be hospitalized.

Rhode Island has not reported any illnesses as of Wednesday, though Massachusetts has reported 12 and Connecticut has reported four.

The actual number of people who were sickened by the onions is likely much higher, since the CDC said many people recover without reporting the illness.

The CDC said investigators are working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to the outbreak. No recall has been issued at this time.

In the meantime, the CDC is urging everyone to err on the side of caution when it comes to buying, eating or serving fresh onions.

Anyone who has onions with stickers or packaging indicating the brand (ProSource) or country (Mexico) are urged to throw them out. All unlabeled onions should also be tossed, the CDC said.

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