Massive onion recall sparked by Salmonella outbreak

ProSource Produce LLC of Hailey, Idaho is recalling whole raw onions imported from Mexico due to potential Salmonella contamination.

The recall comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified ProSource as a source of onions linked to a large multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses that has sickened 652 people so far, sending 129 of them to hospital.

To date, no onions marketed through ProSource have tested positive for Salmonella, according to the company.

The Recall

The recall encompasses red, yellow, and white whole raw onions shipped to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico, between July 1, 2021, and August 31, 2021, and includes the following brand names:

  • Big Bull
  • Peak Fresh Produce
  • Sierra Madre
  • Markon First Crop.
  • Markon Essentials
  • Rio Blue
  • ProSource
  • Rio Valley
  • Sysco Imperial

The onions were distributed to wholesalers, broadline foodservice customers, and retail stores in 50 lb., 25 lb., 10 lb., 5 lb., 3 lb., and 2 lb. mesh sacks; and 50 lb., 40 lb., 25 lb., 10 lb., and 5 lb. cartons in:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnisota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Some of the recalled product also was shipped to Ontario and Québec, Canada.

The Outbreak

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first identified an outbreak of 20 confirmed cases of Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses on September 2, 2021. By September 15th, the date of CDC’s initial outbreak investigation announcement, the number of cases had risen to 127 people from twenty-five states.

On September 24th, the CDC reported having found the outbreak strain in a sample taken from a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The outbreak victim who supplied the condiment cup reported that it also had contained onions, but none were left in the cup at the time of sampling.

As of October 18th, the CDC had amassed reports of 652 confirmed outbreak cases from 37 US states. Thirty-one percent (31%) of the outbreak victims required hospitalization.

Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses caused by the outbreak strain have been reported by the following states:

  • Alabama (3)
  • Arkansas (12)
  • California (9)
  • Colorado (1)
  • Connecticut (4)
  • Florida (5)
  • Georgia (2)
  • Illinois (37)
  • Indiana (1)
  • Iowa (3)
  • Kansas (14)
  • Kentucky (9)
  • Louisiana (5)
  • Maryland (48)
  • Massachusetts (12)
  • Michigan (9)
  • Minnesota (23)
  • Mississippi (2)
  • Missouri (21)
  • Nebraska (8)
  • New Jersey (5)
  • New Mexico (8)
  • New York (12)
  • North Carolina (14)
  • North Dakota (4)
  • Ohio (7)
  • Oklahoma (98)
  • Oregon (2)
  • Pennsylvania (7)
  • South Carolina (3)
  • South Dakota (8)
  • Tennessee (10)
  • Texas (158)
  • Utah (3)
  • Virginia (59)
  • West Virginia (1)
  • Wisconsin (25)

Déjà Vu

In the summer of 2020, the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) identifed a cross-border outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections that sickened more than 1100 people in 48 US states and 515 in seven Canadian provinces.

The source of the 2020 outbreak was traced to onions supplied by Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California. Although, the outbreak strain was never recovered from Thomson’s onions, the FDA found eleven different Salmonella serotypes from various environmental samples.

What You Need To Know

Illness subclusters investigated in this outbreak are currently associated with restaurants and food service locations.

The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products or firms are linked to illness.

The FDA is working to determine if these onions were available to consumers through grocery stores.

Meanwhile, the CDC advises businesses and individuals to take the following precautions:

  • Businesses should not sell or serve fresh whole red, white, or yellow onions that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.
  • Do not buy or eat any whole fresh red, white, or yellow onions if they were 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.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:
    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
    • 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
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Recalls and Alerts: October 19-20, 2021

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United States

OUTBREAK INVESTIGATION: CDC and FDA have determined that a major outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses is connected to whole, fresh onions imported from Mexico. To date, 652 people have become infected and 129 of them have needed hospitalization. Cases have been confirmed in 37 US states. FDA has identifed ProSource Inc. as a source of the potentially contaminated onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. ProSource Inc. has agreed to voluntarily recall red, yellow, and white onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, MX, with import dates from July 1, 2021 through August 27, 2021. Descriptions of these onion types include, but are not limited to, jumbo, colossal, medium, and sweet onions. Additional recall information will be made public as soon as it is available from ProSource Inc.

Allergy Alert: Demaiz Inc. recalls approximately 20,759 pounds of pork and beef tamales due to undeclared sesame seeds. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: Ivar’s Soup and Sauce Company recalls Kettle Classic Clam Chowder With Uncured Bacon (2-24oz Sleeved Packs; Costco Item #1270666; Use by 12-22-2021; UPC 0 30383 19649 6) due to foreign matter (hard, sharp opaque plastic pieces) contamination.

Canada

Food Safety Recall: Aux saveurs des Sévelin recalls sauce carbonara / Carbonara sauce (1 L glass jars; Sold up to 19 October 2021) due to the absence of a mandatory “Keep Refrigerated” statement on the label.

Food Safety Recall: allSpices Food recalls allSpices Food brandSauce Ging-Hab (250 ml; Best Before July 2022; UPC 6 27987 39550 1) due to container integrity defects.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Finland): SOK recalls Amarillo Green Burrito (300g; Use by 21.10.2021) due to undeclared egg and milk.

Allergy Alert (Sweden): Axfood recalls Garant Dillmajonnäs / Dill mayonnaise (200 ml; Best before 2021-12-28) due to undeclared milk.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Aldi recalls Rôti d’épaule de cerf mariné / Marinated venison shoulder roast (500g; Lot #21281; Use by 24/10/2021 & 26/10/2021) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Fromagerie du Thouet recalls fromagerie du thouet fromage de chèvre au lait cru / raw milk goat cheese (Lot 07/10/21; Best before 05/12/2021) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): August Töpfer & Co. (GmbH & Co.) KG recalls zauberhaft Backen Haselnusskerne gehackt / magical baking chopped hazelnut kernels (Lot #L50357; Best before 11.06.2022) due to Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Iceland): Lagsmaður ehf. recalls Mama brand Instant noodles with tom yum pork flavour (60g; Lot #1D4SD11; Best before 28-04-2022; Product of Thailand) due to foreign matter (broken glass) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Italy): Sicily Food srl recalls Fish & Fine brand Salmone affumicato a fetta lunga / Smoked salmon, long sliced (200g; Lot #103936090712-25421; Best before 21/10/2021; Product of Serbia) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): Aldi recalls WILD VERMEERSCH BV brand Rôti d’épaule de cerf mariné / Marinated venison shoulder roast (500g; Lot #21281; Use by 24/10/2021 & 26/10/2021) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Allergy Alert (Hong Kong): SUN SHUN FUK FOODS CO., LTD. recalls Sau Tao brand Thick Egg Noodles (454g; Best before December 1, 2022; Product of China) due to undeclared sulphur dioxide.

Allergy Alert (Israel): Bnei Riyad Mahrum Sweets Ltd. recalls Dreja Candy (330g; All expiration dates up to and including 03/10/22) due to undeclared almonds.

Allergy Alert (Israel): Alef Kissing Factory Ltd. recalls Jacobs brand Salty Cookies (350g; All expiration dates up to and including 17/01/2022) due to undeclared macadamia nuts.

Food Safety Recall (Israel): Aleutmani Salads recalls Tahini Salad (Use by 17.11.2021) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Australia and New Zealand

Allergy Alert (Australia): Fruit X Pty Ltd recalls Fruit X Berries Blueberry Chocs (150g; Use by 31-12-2022) due to undeclared macadamia nuts.

Allergy Alert (New Zealand): Sunson Asian Food Market recalls Malakongjian brand Hot Pot Sauce Spicy Flavour (320g; All batches; Product of China) due to undeclared gluten.

OUTBREAK ALERT AND PRODUCT RECALL: Listeria monocytogenes in pre-cooked chicken

One person is dead and two more have been hospitalized in a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes according to a report released last night and updated today by the US Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention (CDC).

All three outbreak victims were either living in a long-term care facility or were already hospitalized at the time they became infected.

Two of the cases, including the single fatality, are in Texas. The remaining case is in Delaware.

Victims range in age from 60 to 95, with a median age of 89 years old. Two of the three are male.

The CDC warns that the true number of infected people may be higher, and the outbreak may not be limited to Texas and Delaware.

The outbreak strain was recovered from two samples of precooked chicken products during routine sampling conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

One of the positive samples was produced by Tyson Foods Inc. in Dexter, MO. The producer of the second sample to test positive for the outbreak strain has not yet been named.

Tyson recalls 4,246 TONS of pre-cooked chicken products

Tyson has recalled approximately 8,492,832 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021 and bearing the establishment number, EST. P-7089.

The recalled products include frozen, fully cooked chicken strips, diced chicken, chicken wing sections, and fully cooked pizza with chicken and were sold under multiple brand names, including: Tyson, Jet’s Pizza, Casey’s General Store, Marco’s Pizza, and Little Caesars.

These items were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools and Department of Defense locations. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Consumers and food handlers should take additional care when preparing dishes that included pre-cooked chicken, especially when the food will be offered to the elderly or to immunocompromised individuals, including pregnant women.

What businesses need to know

  • Do not serve or sell recalled products.
  • Long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other facilities that serve people at higher risk for severe Listeria illness should take extra precautions. Listeria is particularly harmful to people who are 65 years or older, pregnant, or have a weakened immune system.
  • All of the sick people in this outbreak ate foods served at a long-term care facility or hospital.
  • Follow USDA-FSIS guidelines to prevent the spread and growth of Listeria.

What consumers need to know

  • Do not eat any recalled products. Throw them away or return them to where you bought them.
  • Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched the recalled products. Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating recalled products.
    • If you are pregnant: Fever and muscle aches. Your illness may be mild, but Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.
    • If you are not pregnant: Headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.