The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked fresh whole onions to a growing and mysterious salmonella outbreak.

In a food safety alert Wednesday, the CDC said 652 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg from 37 states as of Oct. 18. More cases will be reported.

The outbreak was first reported in mid-September but the CDC, Food and Drug Administration and local health officials had not identified a food linked to the illnesses.

According to the CDC, affected red, white or yellow onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc., which is based in Hailey, Idaho. The onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the country.

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ProSource Inc. stated that the onions had been imported since August 27, however, imported onions can keep for as long as three months and could still be found in homes or businesses,” the CDC updated. Investigators continue to investigate whether other onion suppliers and sources are involved in this outbreak.

According to the CDC, consumers shouldn’t buy or eat affected onions. Imported onions may last for up to 3 months in storage

The CDC recommended that all red, yellow and white onions be thrown away. “If you can’t tell where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them.”

Recall onion

According to the FDA, ProSource Inc. has “agreed to voluntarily recall red, yellow, and white onions” with import dates from July 1 through August 27. Onion types include jumbo, colossal, medium, and sweet onions, the FDA said.

A recall notice and a list of stores that sold the onions were not posted as of Wednesday night. The FDA stated that additional recall information would be released as soon as ProSource Inc. has it.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps and dehydration, which can begin six hours to six days after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the CDC. Most people will recover within 4-7 days.

In 2020, onions in another massive salmonella outbreak ended up being recalled. 

The salmonella epidemic in Onions spread to 37 US states

According to the CDC, Texas has the most cases in the ongoing outbreak with 158, followed by Oklahoma with 98 cases. Virginia is home to 59, Maryland has 58 and Illinois has 37. Wisconsin 25, Minnesota, 23. And Missouri, with 21 cases.

Other states with cases have 14 or fewer cases are: Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Dakota, Alabama, Iowa, South Carolina, Utah, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Colorado, Indiana and West Virginia.

According to the CDC, “The actual number of victims in an outbreak will likely be much greater than what is reported.” “This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.”

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Contributing: Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY

Follow Kelly Tyko (USA TODAY reporter) on Twitter @KellyTykoPlease visit: For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group. 


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