The CDC reported a few moments ago that as of October 18, 2021, 652 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been reported from 37 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021.
Sick people range in age from less than 1 year to 97 years, with a median age of 37, and 57% are female. Of 417 people with information available, 129 (31%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 193 people with information, 145 (75%) reported eating or maybe eating raw onions or dishes likely containing raw onion before they became sick. Several ill people reported eating at the same restaurants, indicating they may be part of illness clusters. These clusters can provide clues about what food item may be making people sick. 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. States identified 20 illness clusters at restaurants where onions were served. Information from these clusters shows that many ill people ate raw onions.
FDA conducted a traceback investigation and identified ProSource Inc. as a common supplier of imported onions to many of the restaurants where sick people ate. One of these clusters occurred in a restaurant where investigators identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg in a condiment container with leftover lime and cilantro. The sick person reported that the condiment cup had also contained onions, although none were left when the condiment was tested. FDA is working to determine if other suppliers of onions may be linked to this outbreak or if there is a common supplier of onions in Chihuahua, Mexico.