In case this year couldn't throw us any more curveballs, there's a new country-wide food recall impacting one of our favorite kitchen staples: onions.
According to an August 1 announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California is recalling Red, Yellow, White, and Sweet Yellow Onions" because they may potentially be contaminated with salmonella.
Salmonella is an infection-causing bacteria that can lead to a host of symptoms including diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps (yep, you'll want to avoid it all costs). The symptoms usually begin anywhere from six hours to six days after exposure, and can last up to a week. While most people recover without treatment, it can, in some cases, be more severe—especially among young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
But before you start tossing your stash of onions, here's what you need to know about the recall:
The onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores across all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Canada.
The onions may have been sold under a variety of brand names, like Thomson Premium, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, Food Lion, and more (head to the FDA's site for a full list, as well as photos of their packaging).
If you've purchased onions that fall under this recall, you're advised to dispose of them. If you can’t tell where your onions are from, the CDC recommends not to eat those either (to be on the safe side). Also, if you happen to have any leftover dishes made with these onions, you'll want to toss them, too, as they might be contaminated.
The CDC recommends washing and sanitizing "any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions or their packaging, such as countertops, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards."
Since the recall also impacts restaurants and wholesalers, make sure to check that the onions being served, cooked with, or sold aren't from Thomson International Inc.
If you start noticing symptoms of salmonella, the CDC recommends noting what you ate, along with when you first started getting sick, and reaching out to your doctor first. You might also want to consider reaching out to your local health department to help track the outbreak. For more information, check out these resources from the CDC and FDA.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.