A recall of onions imported into several Canadian provinces from the United States, due to potential contamination with Salmonella, continues to have impact as more items are being recalled—this time expanding to include numerous food products from salsa to salads and sandwiches.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a recall for red onions imported from the U.S. by Sysco in Western Canada on July 30.
Then on August 1, the recall included red, yellow, sweet yellow, and white onions grown by Thomson International (Bakersfield, California).
On August 6, Freshpoint Foodservice began recalling its brand of red and jumbo yellow onions in B.C.
More onions added
On August 7, the recall expanded to include even more onions, grown by Thomson International and distributed in all Canadian provinces and territories, except for PEI and Nunavut.
The companies involved are Botsis Fruits & Vegetables Inc., Fresh Forward Inc., Freshpoint Canada Inc., Fruiticana Produce Ltd., Krown Produce Inc., Persia Foods Products Inc., Seoul Trading Corp., Sewa Enterprises Ltd., and Sysco Canada Inc.
The recall involves yellow, sweet yellow, red, and white onions and imported into Canada since May 1 and sold in mesh sacks or boxes, including in bulk, with the following brand names:
- El Competidor
- Imperial Fresh
- Onions 52
- Tender Loving Care
- Thomson International
- Thomson International Premium
- Thomson Premium
The onions may have been purchased online or at restaurant locations.
Meanwhile, Jim M. Koo Produce is also recalling onions distributed only in B.C. The affected products (which do not have UPCs) include:
- Wash Jumbo Yellow Onion 5# (size not specified), distributed from July 21 to 22;
- Red Onion 5LB (five pounds), distributed from July 4 to 24;
- Proc Onion Peeled 20LB (20 pounds), prepared on July 21 and 22.
Food products recalled
Also on August 7, the CFIA announced that various food products made with onions grown by Thomson International are also undergoing a recall.
The recall list includes the following Fresh is Best Salsa products distributed in B.C.:
- Hot Fresh Salsa, Extra Hot Fresh Salsa, and Salsa Fresca;
- Mild Fresh Salsa and Medium Fresh Salsa, also distributed in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba;
- Savory Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salsa (also distributed in Alberta), and Tropical Fruit Salsa;
In addition, Skeena Select’s BBQ Beef Sub, Pizza Sub, Broccoli Salad, and Chicken Quesadilla, all distributed in B.C. and with all best before dates up to and including AU.11.20, are being recalled.
A number of food products without any brand named specified, all distributed in B.C. and all with All best before dates up to and including AU.11.20, are being recalled:
• Greek Salad with UPC starting with 0 205106;
• Greek Pasta Salad with UPC starting starting with 0 205130;
• Curried Quinoa Kale Salad with UPC starting with 0 205117;
• Gourmet Sandwiches Entertaining with UPC starting with 257369 and all packed on dates up to and including August 7.
The latter two are listed as distributed at various IGA, Safeway, Sobeys, and Thrifty Foods locations in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Within the food industry, a no-name Butter Chicken Sauce (Frozen) in 100-gram quantities, including all units sold up to and including August 7, 2020, is being recalled from hotels, restaurants, and institutions.
For a complete list of all recalled products, as well as product sizes, UPC numbers, date codes, and additional details, visit the CFIA webpage devoted to the investigation.
Symptoms and cases
Anyone who has these onions or food products—including consumers, distributors, manufacturers, or establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, or hospitals—should neither eat, serve, use, or sell them nor any food products made with them.
Instead, the items should be disposed of or returned to the place of purchase. Anyone who isn’t sure if what they have is part of the recall should check with the place of purchase.
Even if food items do not appear or smell spoiled, anything contaminated with Salmonella can still make a person ill. Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Anyone who becomes sick from consuming these products should contact a doctor.
As of August 7, there were 239 confirmed cases of Salmonella among people in Canada.
The largest number of cases was in Alberta—149 people affected—while the second largest number—67 cases—has been reported in B.C.
More information about Salmonellosis (Salmonella) can be found at the Health Canada website.
Canadian onions aren’t affected by this recall.