Salmonella outbreak linked to American red onions, cases found in Manitoba

Have you bought red onions from the U.S. in the past recently? Throw them out. The Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting an outbreak of salmonella has been linked to the produce.

As of July 30, over a hundred cases of salmonella have been linked in Canada to the onions, including 13 cases in Manitoba. Saskatchewan has not linked any cases of the disease to the onions, but the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is now investigating several cases of salmonella that may be linked.

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No deaths have been recorded. The illness has been recorded in people as young as three years old and in people as old as 100. People who later fell ill each reported eating red onions at home, in restaurants or at care homes.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating the outbreak. A similar outbreak of salmonella cases in the U.S. is also bein investigated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Anyone can contract a salmonella infection, but the illness can affect children five years or younger, older adults, pregnant women or immunocompromised people most. Symptoms of a salmonella infection can show up between six hours and three days after exposure. Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, chills, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, cramps and vomiting that can last as long as a week.

To avoid possible infection, people in western Canada and Ontario are advised to not eat any red onions imported into Canada from the U.S. and check any food served in restaurants or pre-packaged foods for red onions. If you have recently purchase red onions, check for a label or sticker to see where the onions were grown. If the food isn't labelled, don't eat it. If the onion turns out to be from the U.S., the Public Health Agency advises people to throw it away and wash their hands.

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