Hello Fresh Onions Recalled Due to Salmonella Contamination
On August 19, 2020, the meal-kit delivery business HelloFresh was informed that onions used in meal-kits were linked with the Newport Salmonella outbreak and possibly contaminated with Salmonella. The meal-kits with contaminated onions were distributed from May 8, 2020, to July 31, 2020 throughout the United States. HelloFresh urges all consumers to discard any uneaten meals containing the infected onions that were distributed during the above dates, though a detailed list of product codes can be found on the FDA website.
Hello Fresh also notes that consumers who ingested the onions could be safe from contracting salmonellosis IF the onions were cooked as instructed by the recipe, reaching at least 165ºF/74ºC. At that temperature, all Salmonella bacteria should be destroyed.
HelloFresh announced that they have cut ties with the supplier that distributed the contaminated onions, and ensures customers that all facilities used by HelloFresh have the highest level of food safety certification, being SQF (Safe Quality Food) certified. Consumers can reach HelloFresh at [email protected] regarding any questions over the outbreak.
The Newport Salmonella outbreak has caused 869 illnesses, and 116 hospitalizations across the United States, with the majority of cases in California (115), the hypothesized origin of the outbreak. The FDA is continuing their ongoing investigation of Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California, along with the CDC, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and local and state officials. There have been 339 confirmed cases in Canada, requiring 48 hospitalizations across 7 provinces.
National food poisoning lawyer Ron Simon, who filed the first lawsuit in Riverside California against Thomson International in this national outbreak, believes that the actual number of victims of the outbreak is likely 5 to 10 times the reported official number:
“Many victims do not seek medical attention in regular times, and these are not regular times. Many victims are afraid of seeking medical assistance for fear of COVID exposure. Just as a reminder, getting stool culture is still possible. You can call your physician an d pick up a stool collection kit, call your county health department to see if they will provide you one, or do a telephone visit with your physician of an online clinic, and go to a local testing facility. TO better answer any questions, we have set up a Salmonella Help-Line at 1-888-335-4901 for those with questions.”
Ron Simon’s suspicion that there are many more illnesses than the official number in the latest CDC report is supported by the CDC itself, who has noted that the number of underlying illnesses in any given outbreak could be a s much as 20 to 30 times the reported number.