Thomson Onions link in Salmonella Newport Outbreak in US and Canada - 879 Sick


As of August 6, 2020, a total of 640 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 43 states. States with Cases: Alaska (6), Alabama (1), Arizona (14), California (76), Colorado (14), Connecticut (2), Delaware (1), Florida (3), Georgia (1), Idaho (26), Illinois (41), Indiana (2), Iowa (20), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Maine (4), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (36), Minnesota (14), Mississippi (2), Missouri (6), Montana (52), Nebraska (10), Nevada (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), New York (5), North Carolina (5), North Dakota (8), Ohio (8), Oregon (85), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (17), Tennessee (5), Utah (90), Virginia (8), Washington (25), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (7), Wyoming (16).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 23, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 39. Fifty-four percent of ill people are female. Of 343 ill people with information available, 85 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

As of August 7, 2020, there have been 239 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (67), Alberta (149), Saskatchewan (5), Manitoba (13), Ontario (3), Quebec (1) and Prince Edward Island (1).

Individuals became sick between mid-June and late July 2020. Twenty-nine individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 0 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (54%) are female.

Many ill people were identified as part of illness clusters. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. Twenty-five illness clusters have been identified in nine states. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions. The traceback information collected from these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, Calif., as a likely source of red onions. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as, white, yellow, or sweet yellow, may also be contaminated. Additional traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada that is related by whole genome sequencing to the U.S. outbreak. On July 30, PHAC’s outbreak investigation identified U.S. red onions as a likely source of its outbreak.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc., voluntarily recalled red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

On August 1, Giant Eagle recalled 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 alert for products made with recalled onions. Check the alert for product details.

On August 6, 2020, Taylor Farms issued a recall of foods that were made from recalled onions.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California, or other foods made with recalled onions.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal, person or contaminated product. Symptoms include:

  • chills
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last for 4 to 7 days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment, but sometimes antibiotics may be required. In some cases, severe illness may occur, and hospitalization may be required.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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