Monday 20 March 2023

Major onion recall expands yet again: Another two brands to check

This year's big onion recall has expanded once again, this time with one new recall and an update to an existing recall. The two new advisories come from Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. and Potandon Produce LLC. As with the several other onion recalls and updates published in recent months, the reason for these latest notifications is potential contamination with Salmonella.

The FDA published Alsum Farms & Produce's recall notice on November 15, alerting the public to potential Salmonella contamination impacting some batches of whole red, yellow, and white onions. The produce was sold packaged in bags and cartons ranging from 2lbs to 50lbs in weight. All of the onions, as with other similar recalls this year, originated from Chihuahua, Mexico

According to the recall notice, the advisory only covers onions from the company that lists "Produce of Mexico" on the label. As with other whole onion recalls this year, the produce was sourced from Keeler Family Farms. Alsum notes the onions were sold this past summer, meaning they're past their fresh shelf life. However, the recall is still made "out an abundance of caution," as some consumers may still have the onions in their freezers, for example.

The full list of Alsum onion products covered by this alert can be found in the recall notice, including lot codes, descriptions of the products, and the packaging sizes impacte

The Potandon Produce recall, meanwhile, was also published on November 15. This is an update to the company's previous onion recall published in late October, adding 3lb and 5lb bags of yellow onions to the advisory, as well as 2lb bags of white onions. These whole onions were distributed this summer, as well, meaning they're likewise past their fresh shelf life, though some consumers may still be in possession of them.

The newly added produce was sold under the Green Giant Fresh brand. These onions were also sourced from Keeler Family Farms. The company points out that though the onions are past their fresh shelf life, they may have been used as part of meals that consumers may still have in their freezers. Refunds are available for customers who want them, but otherwise, the onions should simply be thrown away uneaten

Consumers who may have purchased these onions can find the identifying details in the recall notice.This year brought a Salmonella outbreak that triggered an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA. The disease was eventually traced to raw onions, including yellow, white, and red varieties. As of November 12, 2021, according to the FDA, a total of 892 cases related to the outbreak were identified.

The investigation into the outbreak continues, but the link to some onions imported from Mexico resulted in recalls from ProSource Produce and Keeler Family Farms, which received the onions from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed them to other companies.

The resulting series of recalls have come from a number of companies that sold these whole onions under their own brands, as well as some food kit delivery services like Hello Fresh that packaged the onions with some of their meals.

Whole onions, unfortunately, aren't something many consumers keep with their original packaging, which can make it difficult to determine whether one is in possession of the recalled units. The FDA says that when in doubt, throw away onions uneaten. Though the recalled products were distributed this past summer, whole onions can last for up to three months if they're stored properly, meaning some people may still own some of them.


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