BREAKING NEWS – Red Onions from USA Blamed for Cross-border Salmonella Outbreak


Red onions grown in the United States and imported into Canada are the source of an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections which has sickened 114 people in five Canadian provinces and more than 200 people in the United States.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the following provinces have reported illnesses associated with this outbreak: “British Columbia (43), Alberta (55), Manitoba (13), Ontario (2), and Prince Edward Island (1). The individual from Prince Edward Island reported travelling to Alberta before becoming ill. Saskatchewan has not reported any confirmed illnesses related to this outbreak, but provincial public health authorities are investigating some Salmonella Newport illnesses in the province.”

Sysco has recalled all IMPERIAL FRESH brand Red Onions – Jumbo (10-lb and 25-lb bags) imported into Canada from the United States since May 24th. The recalled onions were distributed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises individuals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to not eat any red onions imported to Canada from the U.S., including any food products that contain raw red onions imported from U.S.. Retailers and restaurants in these locations are also advised not to use, sell or serve red onions imported from the U.S.. Red onions grown in Canada are not affected by this advice.

Although PHAC states that it has been exchanging information with the US, there has been no word yet today from CDC or FDA on these developments.

PHAC has offered the following guidance to consumers, retailers and the food service industry:

Individuals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are advised to not eat any red onions imported to Canada from the U.S., including any food products that contain raw red onions imported from U.S..

Retailers and restaurants in these locations are also advised not to use, sell or serve red onions imported from the U.S.. Red onions harvested in Canada are not affected by this advice. 

Individuals are asked to check their homes for red onions, including whole, sliced, or chopped, as well as prepared foods that contain red onions as an ingredient, such as premade salads, sandwiches, wraps, or dips. 

  • If you have red onions at home:
    • Look for a label showing where the red onion was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker. 
    • If the packaging or sticker shows that it is from the U.S., don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • If it isn’t labeled, don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • If you don’t know whether the red onion found in a premade salad, sandwich, wrap or dip contains red onion from the U.S., don’t eat it. Throw it away and wash your hands.
    • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in areas (such as fridges and cupboards) where red onions were stored.
  • If you buy red onions at a store:
    • Look for a label showing where the red onion was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.
    • If the packaging shows that it is from the U.S., don’t buy it.
    • If it is an unpackaged product, or is not labelled, ask the retailer whether the red onion comes from the U.S.
    • If you can’t confirm that the red onion in stores is not from the U.S., don’t buy it.
  • If you order salad or any other food item containing red onions at a restaurant or food establishment, ask the staff whether the red onions come from the U.S. If they did, or they don’t know, don’t eat it.
  • Restaurants and retailers should check the label on bags or boxes of red onions, or ask their suppliers about the source of their red onions.
  • Suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell red onions imported from the U.S.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not cook food for other people.
  • Contact your local public health authority to report any food safety concerns at restaurants or grocery stores, or if you suspect food poisoning from a restaurant or other food establishments.

3 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS – Red Onions from USA Blamed for Cross-border Salmonella Outbreak

  1. Your new e-food alert shows up FROM: WordPress.com. I thought it was spam and junked the first one. Suggest you change it.

    Like

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