Is it safe to eat onions according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “is it safe to eat onions according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?”. As well, we will discuss why onions are related to outbreaks in 2021, and other concerns about the outbreak of onions.

Is it safe to eat onions according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

Yes, it is safe to eat onions by now, according to the FDA and the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC), the last outbreak of Salmonella that happened in the middle of 2021 is over now. 

Why are onions related to outbreaks in 2021?

Commercial whole and fresh onions were linked with an outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg infections. According to the FDA, the onions were from the brand “ProSource Produce, LLC” and from Keeler Family Farms, both from Mexico (state of Chihuahua).

Where do the onions suspect begin? 

The CDC, FDA, and local partners recognized 20 illness clusters at the restaurants that served the specific onions. When investigating the clusters it was noticed that most sick people consumed raw onions, which were considered the fount of the outbreak. 

How do the FDA and partners suspect ProSource Inc. and Keeler Family Farms?

FDA and partners investigated and studied the causes of illness and realized that ProSource Inc. and Keeler Family Farms were common suppliers for most restaurants related to reports of illness peoples. The authorities collected onions from one restaurant that served condiments with raw onions.

When were the onions imported from Mexico?

White, red, and yellow onions were imported from Mexico (state of Chihuahua), from July 1 in 2021 to August 31 in 2021 to the ProSource In. and the same color of onions related to Keeler Family Farms, but were imported from July 1 in 2021 to August 25 in 2021.    

Was the recall performed?

Yes, both ProSource Inc. and Keeler Family Farms agreed to voluntarily recall the onions that were imported in the specific period. There are also made recalls for other companies that processed the onions as ingredients or companies that repackaged the onions.   

Where did the outbreak happen?

According to the CDC, the outbreak happened in 39 states in the U.S.A., most cases were from Texas and Oklahoma, and also in the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To know all the specific states, such as the number of sick people per state, click here.   

How many reports of sick people?

According to CDC, the total of illnesses was 1.040, with 260 hospitalizations and no deaths. The reports were from the other states related to the outbreak.  

What is the bacteria Salmonella?

The bacteria Salmonella causes foodborne illness if you consume contaminated food, and is an important public health problem. The signs of infection are aimed at gastrointestinal frames and can be mild to severe, including death. If you wanna know more about Salmonella, click here.

How does the bacteria Salmonella contaminate food?

According to the FDA, Salmonella is spread by food handlers of people who do not have good hygiene and do not wash their hands or the equipment, tools, and surfaces that they use to prepare food, however, Salmonella can also be spread from animals to people, if the people who contact the animals do not wash their hand properly.

What is foodborne illness?

Foodborne illness can occur when humans eat food contaminated with microorganisms, such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, and also chemicals like heavy metals. The contamination of food can happen in any part of the manufacturing food, also in shipping, commerce, and at home.

How can I prevent foodborne illness at home?

According to the FDA, you can follow many rules to avoid foodborne illness at home. Below are listed the recommendations, but you can click here to read the complete steps.

  • Wash, sanitize and dry your refrigerator and utensils that can have contact with contaminated foods;
  • Wash and sanitize all the surfaces that were used to prepare and serve contaminated products;
  • Wash your hands with warm water and also use soap and then sanitation;
  • People with the weak immune systems should not eat raw food;
  • People with domestic animals need to take more attention to avoid cross-contamination when cooking;
  • Fully cooking raw food at high temperatures will kill potential germs present in contaminated food, click here to check the ideal temperatures according to the type of food;
  • Always keep perishable food refrigerated, and avoid letting them out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours.   

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question, “is it safe to eat onions according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?”. As well, we have discussed why onions are related to outbreaks in 2021, and other concerns about the outbreak of onions.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/oranienburg-09-21/index.html Accessed: 05/10/2022

https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/oranienburg-09-21/map.html Accessed: 05/10/2022

https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborne-pathogens/salmonella-salmonellosis Accessed: 05/10/2022

https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-oranienburg-whole-fresh-onions-october-2021 Accessed: 05/10/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion Accessed: 05/10/2022

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.