Possible Salmonella Risk – Recall of Onions Across the U.S.

The FDA announced August 1st, 2020 that the Thomas International Inc. is recalling all of its onions, regardless of color, from all 50 states in the U.S. due to a potential salmonella risk. This is similar to the a recall that occurred Canada earlier this year.

The Salmonella Newport outbreak has sickened a total of 510 people across both countries. Initially, it was thought that only red onions were implicated in the Salmonella Newport outbreak, but because of cross-contamination issues, all onions, including yellow, white and sweet are being recalled in both countries.

“As of now no specific source of contamination or contaminated shipment has been identified, and FDA is also investigating other potential sources of contamination and has not yet reached a final conclusion,” the recall notice says.

Many of the onions are packaged for food service use and have been used in multi-ingredient foods so it is difficult for consumers to know whether the onions in such foods are part of the recall. This includes foods ranging from deli salads to restaurants’ most expensive menu items.

“Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve red, white, yellow, or sweet onions from Thomson International, Inc. or products containing such onions. If you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International Inc., or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out,” according to the recall notice.

You may not recognize the name of the company doing the recall, howevern according to the notice, “the onions were distributed… under the 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.” You can find a list of label images in the FDA recall.

There are a whole lot of varieties of the recalled packaging. Which is why is better to be safe than sorry, and not mess with the possibility of a salmonella risk and likely toss out those onions in your kitchen and purchase some fresh ones.

All food processing companies use chromatography to ensure that their product is safe for consumption. Phenomenex dedicates an entire section of resources to creating ideal content for those working in the food and environmental testing industries. Check out our home page full of technical applications, articles, and guides to help with your next method development project: Food Technical Resources Web Page.

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