WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

RECALL UPDATE: Onions recalled for possible salmonella include Walmart, Publix, Food Lion, more

Posted August 15, 2020 12:18 a.m. EDT
Updated August 16, 2020 2:54 p.m. EDT

Red, white, yellow and sweet yellow onions with various brand names have been recalled nationwide due to possible salmonella contamination. There have been hundreds of reported cases and multiple hospitalizations including some in North Carolina.

Included in this recall are the brand names:

  • Food Lion
  • Thomson Premium
  • TLC Thomson International
  • Tender Loving Care
  • El Competitor
  • Hartley’s Best
  • Onions 52
  • Majestic, Imperial Fresh
  • Kroger
  • Utah Onions
  • Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc. onions sold at Publix

Update 8-8-20: Additional brand names have been included in the onion recall including Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc. onions sold at Publix, including North Carolina stores. See the details on the Publix website.

Food Lion and Walmart have also issued recall notices for these onions.

If you have any onions from these brand names or you cannot tell if your onions are from Thomson International, you "should immediately discard these products and disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the onions," according to the recall.

You should also be able to return any recalled onions with receipt to the place of purchase for a refund.

At the time of the recall, there were 396 total illnesses reported including 3 in North Carolina and a total of 59 hospitalizations.

The recall notice on the FDA website indicates:

Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California is recalling Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions shipped from May 1, 2020 through the present. The onions are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

The onions were distributed in 5 lbs. carton. 10 lbs. carton. 25 lbs. carton. 40 lbs. carton, 50 lbs. carton. bulk, 2 lb. mesh sacks, and 3 lb. mesh sacks, 5 lb. mesh sacks, 10 lb. mesh sacks 25 lbs. mesh sacks, 50 lbs. mesh sacks under the brand names Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve red, white, yellow, or sweet onions from Thomson International, Inc. or products containing such onions. If you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International Inc., or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections that may be linked to these onions, so Thomson International is recalling the onions out of an abundance of caution. As of now no specific source of contamination or contaminated shipment has been identified, and FDA is also investigating other potential sources of contamination and has not yet reached a final conclusion.

396 total illnesses have been reported to date including 59 hospitalizations. States with cases include: AK (6), AZ (14), CA (49), CO (10), FL (3), ID (5), IL (10), IN (2), IA (15), KS (1), KY (1), ME (4), MD (1), MI (23), MN (10), MO (6), MT (33), NE (5), NV (5), NY (4), NC (3), ND (5), OH (7), OR (71), PA (2), SC (1), SD (11), TN (5), TX (1), UT (61), VA (4), WA (2), WI (5), and WY (11).

Consumers who have any Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions under the above brand names, or who cannot tell if their onions are from Thomson International, should immediately discard these products and disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the onions. Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling Kim Earnshaw at 661-845-1111

See the full recall notice at fda.gov.

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