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St Paul (KROC AM News) -  Contaminated onions are being blamed for a Salmonella outbreak that has spread to 37 states, including Minnesota.

Federal health officials say more than 650 people who ate the tainted onions became ill and more than a fourth of them ended up in the hospital.

At last report, 23 Minnesota residents were among those who became ill between Aug 8th and Sept. 18th. Four of them were hospitalized. They ranged in age from 7 to 77 years.

The CDC says the onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the country. The first case was confirmed May 31st and the CDC says the exact number of cases “is likely much higher than the number reported.”

According to the CDC:

The fresh whole red, white, and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States. The company says they were last imported in late August but they can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses. Investigators are working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to this outbreak.

What Businesses Should Do

  • Do not sell or serve fresh whole red, white, or yellow onions that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.
  • Check storage coolers and coolers for these onions. If you can’t tell where they are from, throw them away.
  • Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.

What You Should Do

  • Do not buy or eat any whole fresh red, white, or yellow onions if they were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc. 
  • Throw away any whole red, white, or yellow onions you have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging.
  • These onions may have stickers or packaging indicating the brand (ProSource Inc.) and the country (Mexico) where they were grown.
  • If you can’t tell where the onions are from, don’t buy or eat them.
  • Wash surfaces and containers these onions may have touched using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

Read more here.

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