Cases Continue to be Reported: Over 1000 Salmonella Cases Caused by Red Onions
The Newport Salmonella outbreak caused by Thomson International, Inc., red onions has caused 1012 illnesses in the United States, with illnesses in 47 states and 136 infections requiring hospitalizations. In Canada, there have been 457 confirmed cases and 66 individuals requiring hospitalizations with illnesses in the following provinces: British Columbia (107), Alberta (257), Saskatchewan (33), Manitoba (25), Ontario (11), Quebec (23) and Prince Edward Island (1). There has also been one reported death, though officials have not confirmed if the Salmonella infection is the official cause of death, nor if it contributed to it. The FDA, CDC, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are currently conducting a joint investigation into the Salmonella outbreak to determine the root cause of the outbreak. This is being done by collecting product, water, and environmental samples taken from Thomson International, Inc., and analyzing the samples for any traces of Salmonella bacteria. Although food safety officials suspect red onions as the root cause of the Salmonella outbreak, all onions produced by Thomson International, Inc. (red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions) were recalled due to potential cross contamination and subsequent poisoning of other onions.
The substantial size of this outbreak can be attributed a number of factors. Perhaps most noticeable is the breadth of the production distribution, with products dispensed in all 50 states, as well as throughout Canada and the District of Columbia. Furthermore, the contaminated red onions were recalled months after being distributed, with contaminated products in circulation from May to August, with the earliest recall made on August 1, 2020, and the latest recall issued on August 19, 2020. National Food Safety Attorney Ron Simon believes that this immense outbreak can also be attributed the Coronavirus:
“…because food safety officials have been overwhelmed with new policies and procedures due to the virus, this extensive red onion Salmonella outbreak was able to go unnoticed for so long. However, there is no excuse for this negligence that has subsequently disrupted so many lives…”.
Victims of the red onion Salmonella outbreak are encouraged to seek medical assistance and request a stool culture to see if they are also part of the salmonella red onion outbreak. Consumers can also call their local health department (county or parish) or may choose to call the offices of Ron Simon and Associates to discuss their personal experience at 1-888-335-4901. Ron Simon and Associates recently filed the first red onion Salmonella lawsuit in the nation in Riverside California against Thomson International, and can help direct people who wish to file a claim through the process.