nothing is safe

Please Throw Away Your Onions

Watch out. Photo: MirageC/Getty Images

In these divisive times, there are always onions. You cannot go wrong with onions. Onions are a staple of cuisines across the world. Are you making German potato salad? You will need onions. Mangú? Also onions. Curries, tacos, or Bolognese? Onions, onions, and onions. We are all cooking at home now. We are churning through so many onions.

Or we were. Now, we cannot even have those. A salmonella outbreak linked to red onions, first reported at the tail end of July, has expanded to 43 states and Canada, the New York Times reports. As of Sunday, nearly 900 people had fallen ill. There have been no deaths.

According to the FDA, the likely source of the outbreak is red onions from California produce supplier Thomson International, but because of the risk of contamination, the company has recalled red, yellow, white, and sweet onions shipped since May 1. The questionable onions, Thompson said, were distributed to “wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores,” and were distributed under many names: TII Premium, El Competitor, Hartley, Onions 52, Imperial Fresh, Utah Onions, Food Lion, Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, Majestic and Kroger. Grocery stores, too, are recalling the onions, as well as any store products made with them.

So far, New York has not been a major locus of the outbreak, although there have been a small handful of cases in the state.

If you know you have Thomson International onions, the CDC advises that you toss them. If you’re not sure where your onions are from, the agency recommends you get rid of those, too. And Cornell food safety professor Martin Wiedmann told the Times that the onions should be abandoned even if they’re cooked, because of the possibility of cross-contamination. “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he told the paper. “Just don’t use them.”

Please Throw Away Your Onions