On Oct. 23, Iowa-based grocery chain Hy-Vee warned consumers that onions sold at its stores between Aug. 13 and Sept. 1 are part of a multistate salmonella outbreak that has sickened over 160 people.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating the outbreak, which reportedly stems from shipments that originated in Mexico.
Advice for consumers, restaurants and grocers
So far, three Iowans have been treated for salmonella poisoning, while the CDC reports a total of 129 hospitalizations in 37 states. The contaminated shipments contained red, yellow and white whole, fresh onions and were distributed under the following brands:
- Sysco Imperial
- Rio Valley
- Rio Blue
- Markon Essentials
- Markon First Crop
- Sierra Madre
- Peak Fresh Produce
- Big Bull
Hy-Vee says the only affected products at its stores are three-pound bags of yellow onions. The grocery chain advises people to throw away any onions included in the recall or return them to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund. A hotline is set up for anyone with questions at 1-800-772-4098.
Food safety issues are a growing concern
This salmonella outbreak involving onions is just the latest in a series of contamination cases that have killed or sickened thousands of consumers. Often, these incidents involve negligent, unsafe food handling practices by producers or distributors that lead to contamination.
In many cases, victims can recover compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and other related expenses by filing a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit. Law firms with experience handling these cases can help clients get some relief and make Iowa safer for consumers.