Outbreak Investigation Updates by Date

Updated September 1, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET

August 18, 2020

As of August 18, 2020, a total of 869 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to August 4, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-six percent of ill people are female. Of 468 ill people with information available, 116 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing of 3 clinical isolates by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory also showed no resistance.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canadaexternal icon is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic and traceback pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] information indicates that red onions are a likely source of this outbreak. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as, white, yellow, or sweet yellow, may also be contaminated.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Eighty-eight percent of people reported eating onions or dishes likely containing onions in the week before their illness started. Of the 68 cases who were asked what types of onions they ate, 46 (68%) ate any white onions, 45 (66%) ate any red onions, and 33 (49%) ate any yellow onions in the week prior to illness. Most ill people ate more than one type of onion in the week before illness.

Many ill people were identified as part of illness clusters. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there.

Twenty-eight illness clusters have been identified in 10 states. Information was collected on 21 of the 28 clusters at restaurants and grocery stores. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions and other types of onions. Investigations conducted by states and FDA identified that all 21 restaurants and grocery stores served or sold red, yellow, or white onions. Sixteen of the 21 clusters served red onions, 12 served yellow onions, and 10 served white onions.

The traceback information collected from several of these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California, as a likely source of red onions. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow, may also be contaminated. Traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc. voluntarily recalledexternal icon red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Other companies have also recalled onions or foods made with recalled onions. See the full list of recalled products here.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc. or other companies, nor should they eat or sell other foods made with recalled onions.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

 

August 7, 2020

As of August 6, 2020, a total of 640 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 43 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 23, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 39. Fifty-four percent of ill people are female. Of 343 ill people with information available, 85 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is underway.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Investigation of the Outbreak

On July 10, 2020, CDC’s PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Since being identified, the outbreak has rapidly grown to a total of 640 infections in 43 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started.

Many ill people were identified as part of illness clusters. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. Twenty-five illness clusters have been identified in nine states. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions. The traceback information collected from these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, Calif., as a likely source of red onions. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as, white, yellow, or sweet yellow, may also be contaminated. Additional traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada that is related by whole genome sequencing to the U.S. outbreak. On July 30, PHAC’s outbreak investigationexternal icon identified U.S. red onions as a likely source of its outbreak.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc., voluntarily recalledexternal icon red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

On August 1, Giant Eagle recalledexternal icon onions and foods made with recalled onions sold in stores across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland.

On August 5, Publix recalledexternal icon onions sold in bulk at stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

On August 5, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a public health alertexternal icon for products made with recalled onions. Check the alert for product details.

On August 5, 2020, Taylor Farms issued a recallexternal icon of foods that were made from recalled onions.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California, or other foods made with recalled onions.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

 

August 3, 2020

As of July 29, 2020, a total of 396 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 34 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 12, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 39. Fifty-two percent of ill people are female. Of 236 ill people with information available, 59 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is underway.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Investigation of the Outbreak

On July 10, 2020, CDC PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Since being identified, the outbreak has rapidly grown to a total of 396 infections in 34 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started.

Many ill people were identified as part of illness clusters. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. Twenty-two illness clusters have been identified in seven states. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions. The traceback information collected from these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, Calif., as a likely source of red onions. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as, white, yellow or sweet yellow, may also be contaminated. Additional traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.

PHAC is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada that  is related by whole genome sequencing to the U.S. outbreak. On July 30, PHAC’s outbreak investigation identified U.S. red onions as a likely source of its outbreak.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc., voluntarily recalledexternal icon red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, Calif.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

 

July 31, 2020

Since the last update on July 24, 2020, an additional 184 ill people have been reported in this outbreak, including 37 from 11 new states: Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas.

As of July 29, 2020, a total of 396 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newporthave been reported from 34 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 12, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 39. Fifty-two percent of ill people are female. Of 236 ill people with information available, 59 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is underway.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks likely share a common source of infection.

Investigation of the Outbreak

On July 10, 2020, CDC PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Since being identified, the outbreak has rapidly grown to a total of 396 infections in 34 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started.

Many ill people were identified as part of illness clusters. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. Twenty-two illness clusters have been identified in seven states. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate red onions. The traceback information collected from these illness clusters identified Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, CA as a likely source of red onions. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as, white, yellow or sweet may also be contaminated. Additional traceback is ongoing to determine if other onions are linked to the outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)external icon is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections, which is related by whole genome sequencing to this outbreak in the United States.

On July 30, Public Health Agency of Canada’s outbreak investigation identified U.S. red onions as a likely source of their outbreak.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell any onions from Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, CA.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

 

July 24, 2020

Since the last update on July 21, 2020, an additional 87 ill people have been reported in this outbreak, including 38 from 8 new states: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Virginia.

As of July 23, 2020, a total of 212 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 23 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page..

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to July 11, 2020, Ill people range in age from 0 to 92 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-four percent of ill people are female. Of 117 ill people with information available, 31 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 48 isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway.

Investigation of the Outbreak

On July 10, 2020, CDC PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Since being identified, the outbreak has rapidly grown to a total of 212 infections in 23 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started. CDC encourages people experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection to report their illness to their local health department and participate in these interviews. This information is vital for public health officials to identify the source of this outbreak and to take steps to prevent additional illnesses.

At this time, the investigation has not identified a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant as the source of this outbreak. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

 

July 21, 2020

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of July 20, 2020, a total of 125 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 15 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page..

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020 to July 7, 2020. Ill people range in age from 2 to 92 years, with a median age of 38. Fifty-six percent of ill people are female. Of 72 ill people with information available, 24 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Investigation of the Outbreak

On July 10, PulseNet identified an outbreak of 13 Salmonella Newport infections in three states. Over the next 10 days, the outbreak rapidly grew to 125 infections in 15 states.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started.

At this time, the investigation has not identified a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant as the source of this outbreak. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.