PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – State health officials are warning Oregonians not to eat onions from a supplier in California after 76 people in 13 Oregon counties got sick with matching strains of Salmonella bacteria.
The Oregon Health Authority says it continues to investigate the 76 cases of salmonella linked to onions from Thomson International Inc., of Bakersfield, California.
18 of the cases in Oregon have been hospitalized, but none have died, according to epidemiologists, who say the cases are part of an outbreak that has sickened more than 400 people in about 40 states, as well as consumers in Canada.
Although red onions are the likely source, Thomson will be recalling all varieties of onions that could have been cross-contaminated, according to health officials.
"People who believe they’ve gotten diarrhea from consuming red onions might want to contact a health care provider," Emilio DeBess, an epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section, said. "However, most people with salmonellosis will recover without antibiotics."
People who have eaten red onions but have not gotten sick do not need to seek or notify a health care provider.
"If you have any of these potentially contaminated onions, discard them and wash your hands afterwards," DeBess said.
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