Epidemiologic and traceback evidence showed that red onions from Thomson International Inc. were the likely source of this outbreak. Other onion types (such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow) were also likely to be contaminated because the onions were grown and harvested together.
In Canada there were 515 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (121), Alberta (293), Saskatchewan (35), Manitoba (26), Ontario (14), Quebec (25) and Prince Edward Island (1). Individuals became sick between mid-June and late-August 2020. Seventy-nine individuals were hospitalized. Three people died, but Salmonella did not contribute to the cause of these deaths. Individuals who became ill were between 1 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (54%) were female.
In the United States a total of 1,127 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport were reported from 48 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to September 11, 2020 . Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 41. Fifty-eight percent of ill people were female. Of 705 ill people with information available, 167 people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
FDA and states reviewed records where ill people purchased or ate onions and foods containing onions. This traceback investigation identified Thomson International Inc. as the likely source of red onions.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada that was related genetically by WGS to the U.S. outbreak. Their investigation identified red onions from Thomson International Inc. as the likely source of their outbreak.
On August 1, 2020, Thomson International Inc. recalled all red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Other companies also recalled onions or foods made with recalled onions. See the full list of recalled products. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions and products.
As of October 8, 2020, this outbreak appears to be over. FDA is continuing their investigation to find the root cause of this outbreak.
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.
Republished with permission from Bill Marler and Marler Clark. Copyright (c) Marler Clark LLP, PS. All rights reserved.
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