With a growing outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to eating red onions, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is encouraging caution among state consumers.
At least 16 cases have been identified among Wyoming residents, with at least 396 cases nationally. Wyoming cases have been reported from Campbell, Carbon, Crook, Goshen, Natrona, Sheridan and Teton counties with half of outbreak-associated cases from Campbell County.
“People ill in connection to this outbreak described eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas and dips,” said Tiffany Greenlee, surveillance epidemiologist with WDH. “That’s why we’re recommending residents should not eat, serve or sell any onions from Thomson International Inc. or products made with these onions.”
Advice from Greenlee also includes:
· Check kitchens for potentially affected onions or fresh foods made with them.
· Check packages or look for stickers on an onion to see if it is from Thomson International, Inc. If it is, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
· If you can’t tell where onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
· Look for foods with onions and do not eat them if it’s unknown where onions came from. Throw them away, even if no one got sick.
· Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as counter tops, refrigerator drawers, knives and cutting boards.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
· Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
· The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
· In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
· Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
More information about salmonella and outbreak updates can be found from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/new