Onions distributed recently at CORA Food Pantry as part of Ward’s Produce boxes are now subject to a voluntary recall due to a possible link to a salmonella outbreak.
CORA, located in Pittsboro, utilizes boxes as part of the Ward’s Produce’s Families Food Box Program to distribute food items to Chatham County families who are experiencing food insecurity. At the most recent distribution events on Wednesday, July 29th, and Thursday, July 30th, loose red onions and 3-pound bags of yellow onions, sourced from Utah-based Onions 52, were placed in boxes.
CORA hosted SNACK! Distribution events at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro and in Goldston and Moncure. The Chatham County Manager’s Office and Chatham County Emergency Management assisted the distribution on Wednesday along with Union Grove AME Zion Church, Telamon, Chatham County Child Development Center, Communities in Schools of Chatham County, Salvation Army, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina’s Wren Family Center, Abundance NC’s Neighbor2Neighbor/Vecino-a-Vecino project, Little Blessings Christian Child Care Center, Piedmont Health Service’s WIC Office and Chatham Trades.
Onions 52 and Thomson International, the original grower of the onions, have issued a voluntary recall of those items, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced August 1. The USDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella that may be linked to these onions. As of the announcement, 396 total illnesses, including 3 in North Carolina, had been reported to date related to this outbreak.
Due to the link to salmonella, CORA has contacted all clients who received boxes and encouraging them to discard the boxes and all products therein due to the potential, although extremely unlikely, of cross-contamination.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually start within six hours to six days after infection and last four to seven days. All those who are experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to reach out to their medical provider.
The Chatham County Manager’s Office has been assisting with CORA’s food distribution operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and strongly encourages CORA clients and those who know CORA clients to share this information as a matter of public health.