Throw Your Onions in the Trash, CDC Says

We know that onions can cause some pain when we cut them raw. We don't expect to have unending diarrhea, fever, or stomach cramps. Many people have suffered digestive distress from Salmonella infections after eating onions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that this is not a recall but rather a food safety advisory. Learn how to spot the problem onions and when to throw them out.

How to prevent the Salmonella outbreak

According to the CDC, the most recent data on the outbreak date back to Oct. 18, 2021. At that point, there were 652 cases of Salmonella infection in 37 states. There were also 129 hospitalizations. However, there have been no deaths from ongoing Salmonella infections linked with onions.

The CDC says that this number could be much higher because people with mild illnesses may not report it. It usually takes between three and four weeks to determine if an outbreak is connected to a sick person's illness.

Where did these onions originate?

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration are currently investigating the source of the outbreak. However, we do know that it could be fresh, whole yellow, red, and white onions from Chihuahua Mexico and distributed through ProSource Inc.

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ProSource Inc. states that the last time onions were imported to the United States was August 27, 2021. However, they can be stored for up to three more months so it is possible that they are still available in grocery produce sections throughout the country.

How to determine if onions are safe to be eaten

How can you tell if onions are making you sick? Check any whole red, yellow, or white onions for any stickers or packaging. If they do, and if the sticker states that the produce was imported in Chihuahua from Mexico, ProSource Inc. distributed them, the CDC advises to throw them away.


The CDC recommends that you throw out onions without a sticker or packaging that identifies where they came from. The CDC suggests that you stick with onions that are labeled or packaged to indicate that they are not from Chihuahua/ProSource Inc.

If you have any outbreak onions in your house, wash all surfaces and containers that they have touched. This can be done with hot soapy water, or a dishwasher according to the CDC.