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Throw out your onions? Salmonella outbreak has sickened hundreds

People are being urged to throw out their fresh, whole onions if they meet one of these conditions.

Federal health regulators are warning Americans they may need to throw out fresh, whole onions due to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people.

The outbreak has been linked to red, yellow and white onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They were sold to restaurants and grocery stores across the country.

There have been 652 reports of people getting sick in 37 states (full list at the bottom of this article). A reported 129 have ended up in the hospital. There have been no deaths. But the CDC said the number could be higher if people recovered quickly without needing medical attention.

Texas has reported the most cases followed by Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland and Illinois.

   

The CDC said the onions were imported on August 27, but can last up to three months. The concern is these could still be in kitchens across the country.

The advice is to throw out any fresh whole red, white or yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc. If the origin of the onions is unknown, those should also be thrown out.

Also, wash and sanitize any surfaces the onions have been on.

ProSource Produce LLC issued a recall for the onions Wednesday, the FDA said Thursday. The onions, it said, were distributed between July 1 and Aug. 31 to 35 states and two Canadian provinces.

Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, according to the CDC. Symptoms usually form within six hours of swallowing the bacteria and most people recover in 4-7 days without treatment.

Children under age 5, adults 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illness that may lead to hospitalization.

Here is a list of the states where people have reported getting sick and how many cases in each state.

  • 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