Federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of salmonella in multiple states that has sickened more than 70 people. Over a dozen have been hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that 73 people in 22 states have been infected by a salmonella strain, possibly originating from recalled onions produced at California’s Gills Onions.
The CDC reported that at least 15 people were hospitalized but that no deaths had been reported.
The federal agency has warned that the number of salmonella-infected people “is likely to be much higher” than reported, given the fact that some people recover even without being tested.
Gills Onions voluntarily recalled its fresh diced onion products on Monday, after learning that the brand was included in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation into an outbreak.
According to the recall notice, the products that could be contaminated by the organism were shipped to Arizona, California Idaho Montana Oregon Washington.
The CDC, FDA, and other regulatory and public health officials are collecting data in order to investigate the infection. Of the 19 people interviewed so far, 14 said they had eaten onions or been served diced onion.
— U.S. FDA Recalls (@FDArecalls) October 25, 2023
According to the CDC, of the 14 respondents, six claimed they lived in long-term facilities. Three of the six people live in the same facility.
The FDA found that Gills Onions onions were sold at restaurants where people ate before getting sick. The CDC also found that long-term care facility meal records showed that Gills Onions diced onions were served.
Gills Onions contacted directly customers who purchased the product from the company and asked them to remove it from the shelves.
In its recall notice, the company stated that it also asked customers to inform their direct customers about this recall.
Salmonella infection can cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. These symptoms last anywhere from six hours up to six days.
The CDC stated that children younger than 5 years, older adults, and those with weakened immunity systems may experience more serious illnesses that will require hospitalization or medical treatment.