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Public health alert: 506 confirmed cases of Salmonella in Canada linked to onions

If you are unsure where an onion was grown, do not eat it. 
Photo: Colourful onions / Getty Images

The message is clear: If you are unsure where an onion was grown, do not eat it. 

Health Canada has updated a public health notice it issued in August about red onions imported from the U.S. that are behind an ongoing salmonella outbreak in B.C. and four other provinces.

Since Aug. 31, there have been 49 additional illnesses reported in the ongoing Canadian investigation. There are now 506 confirmed cases in Canada. A second individual has died, but health officials have confirmed that Salmonella did not contribute to the cause of death.

There is no evidence to suggest that onions grown in Canada are associated with this outbreak. Onions imported from the United States are under investigation.

The health agency states that you should not eat, use, sell or serve any red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow onions from Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, USA, or any products made with these onions. This advice applies to all individuals across Canada, as well as retailers, distributors, manufacturers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes.

If you are not sure where a red, yellow, white, or sweet yellow onion was grown, do not eat it. This notice contains more advice on how to avoid getting sick.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued food recall warnings for related products that came to Canada. Some of these products were possibly distributed nationally. Additional food recall warnings in Canada are possible. More information on recalled products is available on CFIA’s website.