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Onions Cause Salmonella Outbreak in Florida, 42 Other States

Virus Outbreak Washington
Farmer Samantha Alvarez weighs onions for a customer at the West Seattle Farmers Market during its first opening in nearly two months because of the coronavirus outbreak Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Seattle. Farmers markets in Seattle were initially closed, but are reopening with guidelines that include fewer vendors allowed, a limited number of customers, additional hand washing and sanitizing stations and signs and markings urging customers to maintain distance from each other. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A salmonella outbreak said to be caused by onions is reportedly expanding and has infected 640 people from 43 states, including Florida.

At least 85 of those infected have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t eat, serve, or sell them or any food prepared with them,” the CDC said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to eat onions from Thomson International Inc.

That advisory applies to red, white, yellow, and sweet onions.

Some of the onions were sold at stores including Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Publix, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, and H-E-B, under various brand names.

Several companies have recalled onions and foods made with the recalled onions, including chicken salad, macaroni salad, fajita stir-fry, pizza and diced raw onions, including Taylor Farms and Giant Eagle.

The CDC went on to explain that people should check their homes for the recalled products and throw away the affected items.

“Do not eat them or try to cook the onions or other food to make it safe,” the agency added.

Signs of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps lasting between six hours and six days after exposure to the bacteria.

Those under the age of 5, those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience severe illness.

In some cases, the infection can also spread from the intestines to other parts of the body and require hospitalization.

The CDC is asking anyone with symptoms of salmonella poisoning to contact a doctor, write down what they ate the week before they became sick, report the illness to the health department and communicate with health investigators about their illness.

Infections have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.