Canadian health officials are urging people not to eat any kind of onion from the U.S. amid a growing salmonella outbreak that’s sickened more than 200 people in Canada in recent weeks.
Canadian onions appear to be safe but anyone unsure of where an onion comes from should not eat it or any products made with it, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Officials there initially warned against eating red onions from the U.S. last week over an outbreak of salmonella affecting 114 people in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and P.E.I.
That number has now grown to 239 confirmed cases in Canada, with 119 new cases since Aug. 2.
In the updated public health advisory issued on Friday, health officials said the outbreak was linked to red, white, yellow and sweet yellow onions from Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif.
The U.S. firm voluntarily recalled all onions from the American market on Aug. 1., according to a notice posted with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has now expanded its own recall of all types of onions imported under nine brand names from the U.S. since May 1 in mesh sacks, cartons and boxes.
“Some of these products were possibly distributed nationally,” the press release from the Public Health Agency of Canada said.
There are now 640 confirmed cases of salmonella across the U.S. linked to the onion outbreak.
Those illnesses are in 43 states and have led to 85 hospitalizations.
Frequent handwashing, especially after touching raw meat and produce, as well as cooking food to proper temperatures can help limit the risk of infection.
More information about safe food handling practices can be found on the Health Canada website.
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