The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that a previous recall notice of US-grown red and yellow onions in British Columbia – possibly linked to a salmonella outbreak – is being expanded to include additional products.
In a press release issued over the weekend, the CFIA broadened the parameters of the recall to include a notable salsa brand sold in British Columbia as well as several deli items and salads that might contain onions that are contaminated.
The original recall notice was posted on August 1, when investigators determined that potentially contaminated onions are coming from Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, United States of America (USA).
The expanded notice now includes the products from Fresh is Best Salsa and Company, as well as Copperside Foods Ltd. – brands that have incorporated Thomson onions into their products. The recall also includes some of the packaged food sold at Sobeys grocery stores, including Thrifty Foods.
“Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick,” warns the CFIA.
The food inspection agency also suggests that if you currently have any of the recalled products at home, they “should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.”
Below is a list of products that are part of the recall notice:
List of Fresh is Best Salsa products:
List of other food brands/products:
The CFIA is advising British Columbians to look at the date packaged of products being sold in grocery stores like Thrifty Foods and throw away anything that may have been packaged in the recent weeks.
According to the inspection agency, there are now over 230 cases of Salmonella linked to the recalled onions.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) suggests that signs of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that develop six hours to 7 days after exposure and usually lasts four to seven days.
BC health officials also say that most people recover without treatment, although the agency states that children under five years of age, adults over 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
BCCDC adds if you are experiencing severe or ongoing symptoms to contact your health provider.
In order to lessen the impacts of Salmonella, health officials advise the following safety tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh produce.
- Cut away any bruised or damaged areas on fresh produce, since harmful bacteria can thrive in these areas.
- Wash fresh produce thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water, even if you plan to peel them.
- Don’t soak fresh produce in a sink full of water.
- Use a clean produce brush to scrub items that have firm surfaces like cucumbers, oranges, melons, potatoes, carrots.
- Use one cutting board for produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.
- Place peeled or cut fruits and vegetables on a separate clean plate.
- Use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily.
- Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing food.