1,469 people in the US and Canada have been sickened by a salmonella outbreak linked to onions produced by Thomson International

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1,469 salmonella infections have been connected to California-grown onions. Shutterstock

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A Salmonella Newport outbreak linked to widely-sold onions has now sickened a total of 1,469 people in the US and Canada.

On August 1, California-based Thomson International, Inc issued a recall of onions sold in all 50 US states for potential contamination. The affected onions, as well as products containing them, were sold at major grocery outlets including Walmart, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and more.

As of August 31, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1,012 people in the US have been infected with the strain of Salmonella Newport linked to Thomson International’s onions. The outbreak has sickened people under the age of one up to the age of 102-years-old, with 136 reported hospitalizations. The reported illnesses started between June 19 and August 11.

No deaths have been linked to the outbreak in the US, but in Canada – where 457 illnesses and 66 hospitalizations have been reported – one person has died. However, the Public Health Agency of Canada states that it is unknown if salmonella “contributed to the cause of death.”

A joint investigation by the PHAC, US Food and Drug Administration, and the CDC has tied the two outbreaks in the countries together, and has identified the source of contamination as Thomson International’s red onions. Yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions from Thomson International may also have been contaminated.

The CDC notes that it takes an average of two-to-four weeks for an illness to be reported, and that the onset of salmonella symptoms usually happen around six days after exposure. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps. If you suspect you have a salmonella infection, the CDC recommends talking to your healthcare provider.

See the FDA’s list of recalls here.