Islander one of many sickened by onions

Submitted by Washington Department of Health

A resident of San Juan County was one of 25 Salmonella Newport infections in the state related to contaminated onions.

Washington state health officials are working with local, state and federal partners to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to onions sold by Thomson International Inc.

A total of 640 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 43 states. Washington’s 25 cases include residents of King (10); Benton (1); Spokane (1); Asotin (1); Snohomish (2); Garfield (1); Kitsap (1); Lewis (1); Mason (1); San Juan (1); Thurston (1); Walla Walla (1); Yakima (1); and Clark (2) counties.

Thomson International has issued a voluntary recall of the onions shipped from May 1, through the present.

Onions were sold in cartons and mesh sacks ranging from 2 to 50 pounds under the following brand names: Thomson Premium; TLC Thomson International; Tender Loving Care; El Competitor; Hartley’s Best; Onions 52; Majestic; Imperial Fresh; Kroger; Utah Onions; and Food Lion.

If you have the recalled onions from Thomson International, the Department of Health recommends throwing them away. If you are not sure where your onions are sourced, you should throw those away as well. You should also wash and disinfect any surfaces that may have come in contact with the onions.

Salmonellosis, the illness caused by infection with Salmonella, can cause diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal discomfort and vomiting. Serious bloodstream infections may also occur.

If you begin to exhibit these symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.

The investigation is ongoing and focused on determining the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to the outbreak.

The outbreak is a reminder of the importance of properly washing fruits and vegetables before eating them. Following food safety guidance can help prevent foodborne illness from a variety of sources.