California, make sure you know where your onions came from: There’s a salmonella outbreak

·2 min read

A salmonella outbreak linked to raw onions has sickened more than 650 people in the United States, including nine in California.

On Thursday, Idaho company ProSource Produce issued a recall for onions shipped from of Chihuahua, Mexico, between July 1 and August 31, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. On Friday, Keeler Family Farms, of New Mexico, issued a similar recall, also for onions shipped from Chihuahua. The recall includes red, yellow and white onions.

Here’s what you need to know about this outbreak:

How many people have gotten sick?

A total of 652 people reported sickness from salmonella, though it may take up to three to four weeks for the illness to show itself and not all cases are reported. At least 129 people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of the cases have been reported in Texas, where at least 158 people got sick, and Oklahoma, which reported 98 cases.

Can you still buy onions?

The outbreak right now stems specifically from onions shipped from Chihuahua. So you can still buy onions, but just not from ProSource or Keeler Family Farms, and not if you don’t know where they came from. ProSource listed a number of brand names to avoid for now as well:

  • Big Bull

  • Peak Fresh Produce

  • Sierra Madre, Markon First Crop.

  • Markon Essentials

  • Rio Blue

  • ProSource

  • Rio Valley

  • Sysco Imperial

You should also throw away any whole onions you already have at home that don’t have a sticker or packaging, according to the CDC. Use hot soapy water to wash any surfaces or containers these onions of unknown origin may touched, too.

What to do if you feel sick

Salmonella symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps and dehydration. These symptoms usually start between six hours and six days after people swallow the bacteria, according to the CDC.

While most people recover within a week without treatment, CDC recommends immediately contacting your healthcare provider if you feel any of these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever above 102°F;

  • Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving;

  • Bloody diarrhea;

  • Excessive vomiting such that you can’t keep liquids down;

  • And signs of dehydration such as not peeing much, dry mouth and throat and dizziness when standing up.

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