CDC: Salmonella outbreak linked to onions reported in 37 states, including Michigan

More than 600 illnesses reported in US; Onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico

Onions (Pixlr)

Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fresh whole red, white and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, are linked to a salmonella outbreak in 37 states, including Michigan.

According to the CDC, nine people in the state were reported sick as of Wednesday evening.

A total of 652 illnesses were reported in the United States.

Previous: CDC: Unknown food linked to growing Salmonella outbreak; 2 cases in Michigan

Officials said the onions were distributed by ProSource Inc. and sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the country.

ProSource Inc. officials indicated that the onions were last imported on Aug. 27, but can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses, according to the CDC. Investigators are working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to the outbreak.

Health officials said symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. They usually start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after four to seven days.

Some people -- especially children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems -- may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

What businesses should do:

Do not sell or serve the fresh whole red, white, or yellow onions:

  • Check storage coolers and coolers for these onions. If you can’t tell where they are from, throw them away.
  • Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.

What you should do:

Do not buy or eat any of the whole fresh red, white, or yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.

Throw away any whole red, white, or yellow onions you have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging.

  • These onions may have stickers or packaging indicating the brand (ProSource Inc.) and the country (Mexico) where they were grown.
  • If you can’t tell where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them.
  • Wash surfaces and containers these onions may have touched using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

Read: USDA rethinks approach to controlling salmonella in poultry

About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.