The FDA, along with CDC, and state and local partners, investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg infections linked to whole, fresh onions imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, in cooperation with the Mexican competent authorities. As of February 2, 2022, CDC has declared this outbreak over. CDC reports that there were 1040 illnesses in 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
In September 2021, as part of the ongoing investigation to determine the product causing illnesses, the FDA import operations implemented enhanced screening for Salmonella for onions imported into the United States, but no samples were collected because the growing season had ended and onions were no longer being imported from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.
As a result of this outbreak, the FDA initiated onsite domestic investigations as well as Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspections of domestic firms who imported onions from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. By inspecting these U.S. importers, FDA can determine if they are in compliance with applicable FSVP requirements, including performing certain risk-based activities to verify that imported foods meet U.S. safety standards.
While the outbreak has ended, FDA continues to work closely with Mexican competent authorities through the established Food Safety Partnership to investigate potential source(s) of contamination within the implicated region and to proactively implement prevention strategies ahead of the next growing season. FDA also intends to consider using additional tools, such as import screening and sampling, for onions grown and harvested in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico during the next growing season.
CDC has announced the outbreak is over. There are no recommendations for consumers, retailers, or suppliers.
Case Count Map Provided by CDC
Total Illnesses: 1,040
Last illness onset: January 1, 2022
States with Cases: AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV
Product Distribution: Nationwide