By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Montana public health officials are reporting 52 confirmed and suspected Salmonella Newport illnesses linked to onions from Thomson International, Inc.

Image/Montana DOH

Illnesses began as far back as June 21, 2020 and continue to be reported. Local investigations have confirmed that ill individuals often consumed the recalled onions at restaurants.

Confirmed and suspected cases have been identified in 16 counties across Montana and include 12 hospitalizations. Affected counties include Beaverhead, Big Horn, Carbon, Cascade, Deer Lodge, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Hill, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Park, Ravalli, and Yellowstone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 396 cases in 34 states, with a total of 59 hospitalizations and no deaths.

The CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local public health officials in Montana are advising consumers, retailers, and restaurants not to eat, sell, or serve onions from Thomson International, Inc. The onions may also be listed under the following brand names: Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion. This investigation is ongoing, and more brands may be added.

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“If you cannot tell where your onions are from, throw them away,” said Rachel Hinnenkamp of the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Communicable Disease Epidemiology Section.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection vary for each person, but often include a sudden onset of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Some people may experience dehydration, which can be severe. Most people with a Salmonella infection start feeling sick 6 hours to 6 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria, and typically recover without needing treatment within 4 to 7 days.