E.Coli, metal and even a dead bat has have been found in recalled food. In fact, food recalls are increasing. Yet, that might actually be a good sign. Here’s why.
Publix and Giant Eagle stores have joined the recall of onions linked to a salmonella outbreak, which has now led to illnesses in 43 states.
The Food & Drug Administration updated its investigation Friday detailing that Publix Super Markets recalled red onions sold in six states and Giant Eagle stores recalled red, yellow and white onions sold in five states.
Thomson International of Bakersfield, California, last week recalled all red, white, yellow and sweet yellow onions shipped to all 50 states and the District of Columbia from May 1-Aug. 1 out of concern they might be affected, the FDA says.
The onion recall came as health officials announced they were investigating a salmonella outbreak tied to red onions, which at that time had caused nearly 400 cases in 34 states in July. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also investigating.
In its update Friday, the CDC reported 640 cases of salmonella newport illnesses and 85 hospitalizations in 43 states.
Sickness from salmonella often involves diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps from six hours to six days after exposure, the CDC says. More severe cases may lead to high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, rashes, and blood in the urine or stool. The illness can be fatal; salmonella leads to about 420 deaths annually in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Latest onion recalls
Publix Super Markets recalled red onions, packaged by Del Monte Fresh Produce, and sold in bulk merchandise displays in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
“As part of our commitment to food safety, potentially impacted product has been removed from all store shelves which were subsequently cleaned and sanitized,” said Maria Brous, communications director for Publix, in a notice on the company’s website. “To date, there have been no reported cases of illness. Customers who have purchased the product in question may return the product to their local store for a full refund.”
Giant Eagle supermarkets recalled red, yellow and white onions sold in produce departments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland. Giant Eagle also recalled nearly 50 prepared foods purchased since July 25 because they might have onion as an ingredient. Among the products included: Tuscan Chicken Salad, Grilled Vegetables, Philly Steak Pizza Slice, Spinach Dip, and Pierogie Lasagna Roll Up. For the full list go to the FDA site.
Earlier this week, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued new public health alerts about the recall of several ready-to-eat meat and poultry products and salads sold at some Walmart, Kroger and H-E-B stores in 10 states because they contain recalled onions. Also recalled: Amana Meat Shop and Smokehouse Ham Water added in Vinegar Pickle, sold in 1.25-lb quart jars, and shipped to retailers in four states and sold by mail.
Contributing: Kelly Tyko
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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