1,518 sickened with Salmonella in the United Sates and Canada linked to Thomas Onions


As of September 1, 2020, a total of 1,012 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to August 11, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 581 ill people with information available, 136 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

As of September 14, 2020, there have been 506 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (116), Alberta (292), Saskatchewan (34), Manitoba (25), Ontario (14), Quebec (24) and Prince Edward Island (1).

Individuals became sick between mid June and early August 2020. Seventy-one individuals have been hospitalized. Two individuals have died.  Individuals who became ill are between 1 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (55%) are female.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Thirty-four illness clusters have been identified in 13 states. Information was collected on 23 of the 34 clusters at restaurants and grocery stores. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions and other types of onions. Investigations conducted by states and FDA determined that all 23 restaurants and grocery stores served or sold red, yellow, or white onions. Seventeen of the 23 (74%) served red onions, 13 (57%) served yellow onions, and 10 (43%) served white onions.

The traceback information collected from several of these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California, 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, are also likely to be contaminated. Traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the 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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