Canada’s red onion salmonella outbreak appears to be over

Oct 2 2020, 11:21 am

The Public Health Agency of Canada believes the salmonella outbreak, which resulted in a Canada-wide red onion recall, “appears to be over.”

In a release by the agency, the department states that the investigation into the onions imported from the United States, has closed.

Through collaborative efforts between Canada and the U.S, the investigation was able to identify that the contaminated red onions came from Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield California, USA, according to the statement.

“Given that Salmonella illness reporting linked to this outbreak has significantly decreased over the last three weeks, the outbreak appears to be over and the investigation has been closed,” said the agency.

“Investigation findings identified exposure to red onions imported from the USA as a likely source of the outbreak. Many of the ill individuals reported having eaten red onions before getting sick.”

To date, 515 people have fallen ill from consumption between mid-June and late August of this year.

British Columbia had 121 reports, Alberta with 293, Saskatchewan with 35, Manitoba reported 26, Ontario with 14, Quebec with 25, and Prince Edward Island reported one.

In its duration, 79 people were hospitalized and three people had died; however, according to Health Canada, Salmonella did not contribute to the cause of these deaths.

“Individuals who became ill were between 1 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (54%) were female,” said the agency.

“Individuals who were ill reported eating red onions at home, in menu items ordered at restaurants and in residential care settings.”

The investigation is over but the Government of Canada will update the public if new information related to this outbreak becomes available.

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