Category Archives: Salmonella in Onions

USA – Core Table Update


A new Salmonella Javiana outbreak has been listed on the FDA’s Core Outbreak Investigation Table.  The product linked to the illnesses has not been identified.

Research – Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella on Whole Yellow Onions (Allium cepa) Exposed to Hot Water

Journal of Food Protection

In-home or food service antimicrobial treatment options for fresh produce are limited. Hot water treatments for whole (unpeeled) produce have been proposed, but data to support this practice for onions are not available. Separate cocktails of rifampin-resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella were cultured on agar and suspended in sterile water. The outer papery skin at the equator or root or stem ends of the whole yellow onions was spot inoculated at 6 log CFU per onion. After drying for 30 min and, in some cases, storage at 4°C for 6 days, onions were immersed in water at ca. 100°C for 5 s or 85°C for 10 to 180 s. No significant difference (P > 0.05) in the mean decline of Salmonella was found on onions that were exposed to hot water after drying the inoculum for 30 min or after storage at 4°C for 6 days. Exposure of whole onions at 100°C for 5 s reduced E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes populations by >5 log CFU per onion at all inoculum sites and Salmonella populations by >5 log CFU per onion at the stem end and equator but not consistently at the root end. Mean root-end reductions of ≥5 log CFU per onion of E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella were achieved consistently when the root end was fully immersed in 85°C hot water for 45 or 60 s except in a small number of cases (4 of 57; 7%) when the root end was oriented upward and above the water line during treatment. When onions were held at 85°C for 180 s with the root end above the water line in an uncovered water bath, no significant declines in Salmonella populations were observed; significant mean declines in Salmonella were achieved (mean, 5 log CFU per onion; range, 3.49 to 6.25 log CFU per onion) when the water bath was covered. Short exposure to hot water can significantly reduce pathogens on the surface of whole onions. Reductions are more consistent when the root end is submerged and when the water bath is covered.

  • Short hot-water exposure significantly reduces pathogen populations on whole onions.
  • Salmonella reductions were greater at the stem and equator than at the root end.
  • Pathogen reduction was greater for fully submerged root ends in covered water baths.

USA – Core Outbreak Table Update


Date Ref Pathogen Product(s) Total Investigation Status
11/24/2021 1044 Salmonella     Javiana Not Yet Identified 19 Active
11/17/2021 1043 E. coli O157:H7 Spinach See Outbreak Advisory Active
9/15/2021 1031 Salmonella Oranienburg Red, Yellow, and White Onions See Outbreak Advisory Active
9/15/2021 1025 Salmonella Thompson Seafood See Outbreak Advisory Active


USA – Salmonella Onion Outbreak continues to expand after 900 sickened

Food Poison Journal

Potandon Produce L.L.C. of Idaho Falls, Idaho is updating its October 26 voluntary recall of onions supplied from Keeler Family Farms and sold as Green Giant Fresh to include 3lb. and 5lb. bags of whole yellow onions and 2 lb. bags of whole white onions shipped between July 15 and August 22, 2021 to a UNFI retail distribution center in Champaign, Illinois. This recall does not affect any other Green Giant Fresh products or include any Green Giant canned or frozen vegetable products.

The recalled onions are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

USA – Alsum Farms Onions Are Recalled For Possible Salmonella Contamination

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Alsum Farms onions are recalled for possible Salmonella contamination, according to an FDA notice. The fresh yellow, white, and red onions were delivered to retailers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania between July 13, 2021 and August 18, 2021. The onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico by Keeler Family Farms. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with onions marketed through Keeler Family Farms. Alsum Farms & Produce is located in Friesland, Wisconsin. You can see all of the secondary onion recalls in association with a multistate Salmonella outbreak here.

USA – Salmonella Outbreak linked to Onions hits nearly 900 in 38 States

Food Poison Journal

Since the last update on October 29, 2021, 84 more sick people were added to this outbreak. As of November 12, 2021, 892 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been reported from 38 states and Puerto Rico (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 31, 2021, to October 25, 2021 (see timeline).
Sick people range in age from less than 1 year to 101 years, with a median age of 37, and 58% are female. Of 571 people with information available, 183 (32%) have been hospitalized.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

USA – A 30-month Study of 80 Cases of Salmonella Oranienburg Infection


kswfoodworld Salmonella

A 30-month study is reported of an epidemic of salmonellosis involving 46 newborn infants and 34 older individuals who were contacts and became carriers. A total of 80 persons was involved, all having positive stool cultures for Salmonella sp. (type Oranienburg). Of the total number of infants delivered during the epidemic, the 46 infected infants established an attack rate of 20%. The additional 34 older individuals who were carriers were contacts of the infected infants. The mechanics of contact or mode of pattern of spread could not be completely determined. In the newborn infants response to this infection varied. One infant died, 7 were acutely ill, 33 had symptoms of grossly abnormal stools, 5 had asymptomatic infection and were diagnosed by positive stool cultures alone. With one exception, the older individuals all were asymptomatic and were diagnosed by positive stool cultures. Serologic confirmation of the presence of this specific infection was established by determinations of specific antibodies. These were positive in 9 of 10 infants. In the older individuals, antibody agglutinations were positive in seven of eight so studied. Of the 33 infants followed, all became carriers and at the end of 30 months, cultures of stools of 30 of the total number had become negative for Salmonella sp. (type Oranienburg) and 3 remained positive. Of the 22 older individuals followed, all had cultures negative for Salmonella sp. (type Oranienburg) at the end of 13 months. Therapy was prescribed in six acute cases and all of these patients recovered. Experimental therapy for the carrier state resulted in failure in all cases. A comparison of the group of 20 infants not treated suggested that stools of the untreated patients cleared spontaneously more readily than those who were treated.

Canada – MVP brand yellow onions recalled due to Salmonella


Yellow onions
Food » Microbial Contamination » Salmonella
What to do

Do not consume, use, sell, serve, or distribute the recalled products

Affected products
Brand Product Size UPC Codes Additional information
MVP Yellow onions 50 lb / 22.7 kg N/A Imported between July 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021 Produce of Mexico


Industry is recalling MVP brand yellow onions from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The recalled products have been sold in Ontario and Quebec and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

These products may also have been sold in bulk, loose, or in smaller packages with or without a label and may not bear the same brand or product names. The CFIA will continue its investigation and additional recalls may follow.

What you should do

  • If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor
  • Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home or establishment
  • Do not consume the recalled products
  • Do not serve, use, sell, or distribute the recalled products
  • Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased

USA – Pier-C Produce Inc. Recalls 2 lb White Onions – Product of Mexico Because of Possible Health Risk -Salmonella


Pier-C Produce Inc. of Leamington, Ontario Canada is voluntarily recalling Mexican Origin, whole 2 lb White Onions supplied from Keeler Family Farms and sold as Pier-C 2lb white onions of Mexican origin. This recall does not affect any other items in the Pier-C Produce Inc. product catalogue.

The recalled product has the potential to be contaminated with SALMONELLA, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with SALMONELLA often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with SALMONELLA can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The recalled product was delivered to a single retailer in the state of Florida between August 17th, 2021 and August 23rd, 2021.

Additionally, the recalled product was also delivered to a single wholesaler in Florida between August 9th, 2021 and August 24th, 2021.

The recalled product will contain the following four identifiers:

Product is packed in 2 lb mesh bags, labelled Product of Mexico and will bear the UPC code 0 33383 60051 2 bearing the brand Pier-C Produce.

To date, no illnesses have been reported. Pier-C Produce Inc. is conducting this recall voluntarily.

On October 22, 2021, Keeler Family farms of Deming, NM voluntarily recalled imported Onions from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico shipped from July 1, 2021 through August 25, 2021 for potential SALMONELLA contamination. In turn, Pier-C Produce Inc. identified white onions originating from the above recalled lots and proceeded to voluntarily recall the white onions as well.

Consumers should check to see if they have the recalled product in their homes or establishments. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased. Consumers with questions identifying the affected product may contact Pier-C Produce Inc. at 888-783-8459, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4 pm Eastern Time.

USA – Core Investigations Table Update – 4 Ongoing Investigations