Warning – Massive Food Recall Major Retailers and Restaurants

On August 7, 2020 the FDA announced a massive recall on onions from Thomson International, Inc., or food made with these onions. Onion types include red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow varieties. Other companies have also issued recalls of foods, like chicken salads, made with recalled onions.

So far 640 case of Salmonella have been reported.

This recall expands to food markets and restaurants as well.

Here is the info from the FDA website.

  • At home, check your refrigerator and kitchen for recalled onions or foods made with them, such as salads, wraps, tacos, sandwiches, etc.
    • Check the package or look for a sticker on the onion to see if it is from Thomson International, Inc., or one of the brand names below. If it is, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
      • Other brand names that may be on labels include: Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion.
      • See the recall noticeexternal icon to check for further details and pictures of the products.
    • Some foods made with recalled onions, such as deli salads and vegetable mixes, have also been recalled. Check your homes for the recalled products listed below.
    • If you can’t tell where your onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
    • If you used onions to make any other food and don’t know where the onions were from, don’t eat the food. Throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick.
    • Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards.
  • When you order food from a restaurant or shop for food, check with the restaurant or grocery store to make sure they are not serving or selling recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., or any foods prepared with recalled onions, including foods such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas, and dips.
    • If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product.
    • People sickened in this outbreak reported eating onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas, and dips.

Advice to Restaurants, Retailers, and Suppliers

  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., or food prepared with these onions.
    • If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t serve or sell them.
    • Clean and sanitize all surfaces that onions have come in contact with, including cutting boards, countertops, slicers, utensils, and storage bins.
  • Suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc.
    • Suppliers and distributors that repackage raw onions should clean and sanitize any surfaces and storage bins that may have come in contact with recalled onions.

Recalls

  • On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc., voluntarily recalled red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
    • Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
    • Onions were distributed in bulk cartons and mesh sacks ranging from 2 to 50 pounds under these 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.
    • See the recall noticeexternal icon to check for universal product codes (UPC) and pictures of the products.
  • On August 1, Giant Eagle recalledexternal icon onions and foods made with recalled onions sold in stores across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland.
  • On August 1, Publix recalled onions sold in bulk at stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
  • On August 5, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a public health alertexternal icon for products made with recalled onions. Check the alert for product details and pictures. USDA-FSIS will update the public health alert as more information becomes available.
  • On August 6, 2020, Taylor Farms issued a recallexternal icon of foods that were made from recalled onions.
  • There may be additional recalls related to this outbreak. Please refer to the FSISexternal icon and FDAexternal icon websites for the latest recall information.

Take these steps if you have symptoms of a Salmonella infection:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
  • Report your illness to your local health department.
    • The health department will likely call you for an interview to ask you about foods you ate in the week before you got sick.
  • Assist public health investigators by answering their questions when they contact you.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
  • For more information, see Symptoms of Salmonella Infection.
Latest Outbreak Information
Since the last case count update on July 31, 2020, an additional 244 ill people have been reported in this outbreak, including 15 from 10 new states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, West Virginia.
  • On August 1, Giant Eagle recalledexternal icon produce and prepared foods sold in stores across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland.
  • On August 1, Publix recalled onions sold in bulk at stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
  • On August 5, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a public health alertexternal icon for products made with recalled onions. Check the alert for product details and pictures. USDA-FSIS will update the public health alert as more information becomes available.
  • On August 6, 2020, Taylor Farms issued a recallexternal icon of foods that were made from recalled onions.
  • A total of 640 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 43 states.
    • 85 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and traceback information showed that red onions are a likely source of this outbreak.
  • This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Posted in Consumer Tips.