With More than 1000 Victims the FDA Declares the Red Onion Salmonella Outbreak Over
The FDA has declared the Newport red onion Salmonella outbreak to be over, with 1,127 total illnesses and 167 hospitalizations in the United States, and 515 total illnesses and 79 hospitalizations in Canada. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), three of the 515 citizens with confirmed infections died, though the Salmonella infections may not be the sole cause of death. According to National Salmonella Lawsuit Lawyer Ron Simon, “this outbreak has turned out to be one of the largest on record.”
The FDA, CDC, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and state officials of California are currently conducting a collaborative investigation to find the root cause of the outbreak. By evaluating epidemiological evidence and utilizing traceback technology, the CDC found the most probable cause of the outbreak to be red onions from Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, California. Due to cross contamination, all onion types were recalled from Thomson International, Inc. including red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow onions.
The FDA, along with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), intended to sample and test produce from multiple farms and one packing facility, but unfortunately the majority of potentially contaminated product had already been harvested and distributed. Because of this, sampling from produce was limited, though samples were taken and tested from the surrounding areas, such as soil, water, and scat samples.
Although multiple strains of Salmonella bacteria were found through this testing, including genetic variation strains of the Newport Salmonella bacteria, the exact genetic match of the Newport Salmonella bacteria was not found. While the FDA and other states organizations are continuing the investigation to find the root cause of the outbreak, as well as a genetic match for the Newport Salmonella bacteria, the FDA has declared the outbreak to be over. Because contaminated onions are no longer being sold in stores and the majority of onions that were sold between May 1 and August 1, 2020, have statistically been eaten or hopefully disposed of properly, the outbreak was declared over.
Ron Simon and Associates filed the first red onion Salmonella lawsuit in the nation in Riverside California against Thomson International, which led to a string of other lawusits. Amidst the outbreak, Ron Simon created a Salmonella hotline at 1-888-335-4901 to assist victims of the outbreak in seeking justice against Thomson International, Inc. and encourages all potential victims to seek medical care from a licensed professional and ask to have a stool culture performed.