In an announcement made via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, Bakersfield-based Thomson International, Inc. is conducting a voluntary recall of red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions due to possible salmonella risk.

According to the statement, the food manufacturer is recalling onions shipped from May 1, 2020 through the present. The 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. 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.

Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada under the brand names Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.

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Onions at the Mar Vista Farmers Market (Michele Stueven)

Thomson advises that consumers, restaurants and retailers should not eat, sell or serve red, white, yellow or sweet onions from the company or products containing such onions. Throw them out. To date, 396 total illnesses across the country have been reported in connection with the product, including 59 hospitalizations and 49 cases reported in California.

Play it safe and buy onions at your local farmers market.

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