British Columbia is one of several provinces affected by a Salmonella outbreak linked to red onions imported from the U.S.
According to federal public health officials, there have been 114 cases of Salmonella in Canada to date, 43 of which have been recorded in B.C.
People living in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are advised to not eat any red onions imported to Canada from the U.S., including any food products that contain raw red onions imported from U.S.
Restaurants and retailers in these provinces are also advised not to sell or serve red onions from the U.S. Red onions grown in Canada are not encompassed by this advisory and are safe to consume.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) say they are working with provincial authorities and the U.S. CDC to investigate the outbreak.
Salmonella infections have been reported throughout BC. Retailers and restaurants are advised not to use, sell or serve red onions imported from the US and individuals are advised not to eat red onions imported from the US: https://t.co/HJJf4epf9B
— Island Health (@VanIslandHealth) July 31, 2020
The investigation centres around the cause of the contamination in red onions imported from the U.S. and as the outbreak is ongoing, all new Salmonella cases are being reported to the PHAC.
Of the 114 cases recorded as of July 30, 43 are in B.C., 55 in Alberta, 13 in Manitoba, two in Ontario and one in Prince Edward Island.
The individual from PEI who contracted Salmonella reported they they visited Alberta before falling sick.
Saskatchewan has not reported any confirmed illnesses related to this outbreak, but provincial public health authorities are investigating some Salmonella Newport illnesses in the province.
Thus far, 16 people have been hospitalized and about 56 per cent of the patients are female.
For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between two to four weeks, due to a gap in time between when an individual falls sick and when their diagnosis is shared with public health authorities.
This means more cases could be revealed in the coming weeks.