Health Department Alert: White, Yellow Onions Recalled as Thanksgiving Nears

Health Department Alert: White, Yellow Onions Recalled as Thanksgiving Nears

The storage of onions crop in bags at a warehouse. Selectiv focus. Shallow DOF.

As the holidays cooking season moves into full swing, Kane County shoppers should be aware of a massive recall of yellow and white onions.

The Kane County Health Department is advising residents of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to whole, fresh onions.

The Food And Drug Administration has issued a statement that Potandon Produce LKLC of Idaho Falls, ID, is updating its Oct. 26 voluntary recall of onions supplied from Keeler Family Farms and sold as Green Giant Fresh to include 3-pound and 5-pound bags of whole yellow onions and 2-pound bags of whole white onions shipped between July 15 and Aug. 22, 2021 to a UNFI retail distribution center in Champaign.

The recall does not affect any other Green Giant Fresh products or include any Green Giant canned or frozen vegetable products.

Click this link for more information.

Additionally, Alsum Farms & Produce, Inc. of Friesland, WI, is voluntarily recalling Alsum Farms & Produce fresh whole yellow onions in 3-pound bags, 5-pound bags, and 50-pound cartons; fresh whole white onions in 2-pound bags; and fresh whole red onions in 2-pound bags delivered to select retailers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania between July 13, 2021 and Aug.18, 2021.

The affected onions were sourced from Keeler Family Farms. The recalled onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico. This only affects onions labeled “Produce of Mexico.” The recall does not impact any other Alsum Farms & Produce products.

For more information, click this link.

To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with onions marketed through Keeler Family Farms.

The affected onions are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Thoroughly cooking fresh onions to 165°F/ 74°C will kill the Salmonella bacteria.

The recalled onions are beyond the typical shelf life of fresh summer onions, this voluntary recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution. Onions can last up to three months if stored in a cool, dry place.

Restaurants, retailers, and consumers who suspect having purchased such onions may still have them in storage and should not eat, sell, or serve them, and should throw them out.

In October, the FDA identified ProSource Inc. (also known as ProSource Produce, LLC) of Hailey, ID, as a source of potentially contaminated whole, fresh onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. ProSource Inc. agreed to voluntarily recall red, yellow, and white onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, with import dates from July 1, 2021 through Aug. 27, 2021.

Descriptors of these onion types include, but are not limited to, jumbo, colossal, medium, and sweet onions. For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/oranienburg-09-21/index.html

The CDC reports 892 illnesses linked to this case nationwide, with 48 cases in Illinois.

The Kane County Health Department has an abundance of information about food safety online at KaneHealth.com/Pages/Food-Safety.aspx.

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