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Onions from Mexico cause salmonella outbreak in 37 states, CDC reports

If you can’t tell where your onions are from, officials say you should throw them away.
/ Source: TODAY

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is asking Americans to check their onions after a salmonella outbreak sickened more than 650 people across the country.

The CDC said fresh, whole red, white and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico are impacted. They were distributed by ProSource Inc. to both grocery stores and restaurants throughout the United States .

The company last imported the impacted onions on Aug. 27, but the onions can last for up to three months in storage and might still be in homes and businesses, the CDC said.

According to the CDC, cases tied to the contaminated onions started appearing on Sept. 1. In total, there are 652 reported cases tied to the outbreak in 37 states. Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland and Illinois had the highest number of cases reported. California, Oregon, South and North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York also all had reported cases.

A map showing case numbers for a salmonella outbreak across the country.
A map showing case numbers for a salmonella outbreak across the country.CDC

There have been 129 hospitalizations as a result of the outbreak but so far no deaths have been reported. The CDC said investigators are working to figure out if other onions and suppliers are linked to the outbreak.

The CDC also advised businesses to check storage coolers for the impacted onions.

“If you can’t tell where they are from, throw them away,” the CDC website reads. “Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.”

Most people infected with salmonella develop symptoms, including diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, within six hours to six days of being exposed to the bacteria. The illness typically lasts between four and seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Children younger than five, adults 65 or older and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe reaction.