A salmonella outbreak in parts of the United States and Canada has been linked to contaminated red onions supplied by Thomson International Inc. of California, the FDA said Friday.
What Happened: More than 400 cases of the disease were reported by mid-July in the U.S and Canada, the agency said.
California state officials are working with the FDA and carrying out an investigation along with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to identify and investigate the source.
The bacterial disease can spread through contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, diarrhea and cramps.
Why It's Important: The FDA has issued guidelines and asked people to avoid onions if they are unaware where they came from as they wait for the official recall of all onions by Thomson International.
No deaths have been reported so far. The highest numbers of cases are in Oregon, Utah and California.
It is believed the salmonella outbreak originated from consuming the contaminated onions either at home, restaurants or at residential care centers. "People sickened in this outbreak reported eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas, and dips," according to the CDC.
What's Next: FDA has instructed all the onion suppliers to stop selling and receiving onions from Thomson International while they carry out their investigations.
The long-term effects and presence of salmonella in the gut may cause neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, reported The Science Times.
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