Salmonella Newport Outbreak and Recall; Produce Marketing Association Comments
UNITED STATES and CANADA - Advocating for the industry requires reporting the constant challenges we face and the hurdles we must overcome—all hand in hand with the strides we take to bring to advance fresh produce and its worldwide consumption. As our evolution can only come by walking through crises, we bring you the latest update from the FDA and CDC on the announced investigation into a multi-state Salmonella Newport outbreak.
The Produce Marketing Association recently shared an update—penned by Trevor Suslow, Vice President of Produce Safety—on the key information released by the FDA and CDC. According to the FDA and CDC, there are currently 396 cases reported to the CDC national database and distributed across 34 states where 25 percent of ill people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported at this time. In addition, illnesses in Canada have also been linked to this outbreak through whole-genome sequencing.
The outbreak case count and state distribution is growing, but at this time no new illnesses have been identified after July 12.
While the FDA and CDC have announced that their investigation is not complete, they have identified one primary source of Salmonella Newport as fresh whole red onions from Bakersfield, California. That primary source (supplier) has communicated it will issue a recall for all onion types that could have come in contact with contaminated red onions. As CNN also reports, the onion recall will include red, white, yellow, and sweet onions from the supplier as well.
In addition to pulling and destroying any recalled products, consumers, foodservice, and retail outlets are encouraged to use CDC and FDA provided sanitation practices to eliminate cross-contamination.
On Friday of last week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also issued an update communicating a recall of red onions by a specific supplier. The update noted that consumers should not consume the recalled products described or foods containing these raw red onions. Foodservice, retailers, and manufacturers have been instructed not to serve, use, or sell any of the recalled items.
“Historically, Salmonella outbreaks have been prolonged due to cross-contamination and repackaging that can make it very difficult for consumers to know the source of their onions, which is a likely reason for the broad consumer advisory,” PMA stated.
We will keep you updated and connected to the trusted companies bringing us the most recent reports as this issue develops and the latest information becomes available.