5-Minute Easy Guide to the Latest Onion Recall

5-Minute Easy Guide to the Latest Onion Recall

Here is an Easy Guide to the Latest Onion Recall

Should you throw away all your red onions and never eat them again? Below, there is an easy guide to the latest onion recall explaining what you need to know and do.

If you only eat them raw, yes.  I am joking!  I despise raw onions.  If I no longer had to scrape them off tacos and endure them in guacamole, I would be happy. 

Even so, you do not have to swear off onions forever. Keep ready to learn what you need to know. 

The recall explained

Starting August 1, 2020 Thomson International Inc. announced a voluntary recall of red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions due to possible Salmonella risk.  Since then, more than 640 people have developed salmonella infections in an outbreak linked to onions. 

Per the CDC, Thomson International distributed onions in this recall within all 50 states.  So far, 43 states have cases reported with 85 hospitalization that link to the onions.  Luckily, there are no fatalities thus far.  Traceback information from the CDC indicates that red onions are likely the source of this outbreak.

“…Onions are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems”

What to do about the onion recall
Simple steps to take to protect yourself from getting sick from recalled onions

How can you check to see if the onions you have are impacted?

As mentioned earlier, the products that have been recalled include red, yellow, white, and sweet onions produced by Thomson International Inc. To check to see if onions you purchased should be thrown away, you can check the brand versus this list here

These onions have been distributed to all 50 states.  They are sold to wholesales, restaurants, and retails stores.  Retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Public, Food Lion and Fred Meyer received onions that have been recalled.

Check the brand of onions you have
Check the brand of onions you have. The onions pictured are Del Dee’s Pride brand and are not part of the recall.

You can look at the brand name of the product you have in your home or restaurant.  The onions were sold under brand names including (but not limited to): Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion.  Again, check the list here.   

Along with raw onions, additional prepared foods are being recalled.  These products include salads, vegetable mixes, and salsa.  Keep checking the list here as it is updated for the next few weeks.

What to do if your onions are part of the recall?

The FDA and CDC is urging you to dispose of onions in question, even if you plan to cook them. 

Green trash can is where you need to throw recalled onions
If you have onions that have been recalled, throw them away.

“Consumers who have any Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions under the above brand names, or who cannot tell if their onions are from Thomson International, should immediately discard these products and disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the onions.”


What you need to know about Salmonella infections

Salmonella is one of the top five top five germs that cause illnesses from food eaten in the United States.  Luckily it is not also one of the top causes of foodborne illness hospitalization!

Salmonella is a microbial food infection.  Microbial hazards in food are the top source for food poisoning and foodborne illness.

Top 5 Germs that cause Foodborne Illness

Symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps.  Typically, symptoms develop anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after consumption of the contaminated food product and lasts 4 to 7 days.  The typical incubation period is 12 to 72 hours after consumption.

Most people recover at home with rest and hydration without medical attention, medication or hospitalization.  Rest and hydration are very important for recovery.  If you think you may have Salmonella, please take note.

What does it mean when a food is recalled?

A food undergoes a recall when it is deemed unsafe and the food producer takes it off the market.  Recalls may be volunteer or mandatory depending on the situation. 

Food recalls may happen for many reasons.  The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, and Food and Drug Administration, FDA, have real-time notices and alerts for food recalls and outbreaks

Per the FDA, “When a company announces a recall, market withdrawal, or safety alert, the FDA posts the company’s announcement as a public service. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.”

Smiling Flask with orange liquid

Fun Fact: Approximately 2,00 different serotypes of Salmonella bacteria have been identified. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common in the United States.

Final thoughts

A recall has been implemented for multiple types of onions potentially contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The onions have been distributed and sold in all 50 states.  More than 640 infections across 43 states have been linked to these onions so far.

Salmonella causes a mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness in most people. At-risk groups need to exercise extreme caution

First, check to see if the onions you have are included in the recall.  Next, keep checking the list as it is updated for the next week or so.  If your onions are on the list and/or if you have products that have now been recalled, the best thing to do is to throw them out

Now you have finished the easy guide to the latest onion recall.What do you think?

Do you have onions that are part of the recall? Will you throw them away?


Thomson International Inc. Conducts Voluntary Recall of Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions Because of Possible Salmonella Risk.  https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/thomson-international-inc-conducts-voluntary-recall-red-yellow-white-and-sweet-yellow-onions-because.  Retrieved 13 August 2020.

Outbreak of Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Onions.  https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/newport-07-20/index.html.  Retrieved 13 August 2020.

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts.  https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts. Retrieved 13 August 2020.

Investigation Update on Salmonella.  https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0807-investigation-update-salmonella.html#:~:text=Check%20your%20homes%20for%20these,food%20to%20make%20it%20safe. Retrieved 13 August 2020.

Salmonella.  https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/index.html. Retrieved 13 August 2020.

FDA Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide. https://www.fda.gov/media/90663/download.  Retrieved 13 August 2020.

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