Health Officials Warn Against Eating Onions from Oxnard Company

June 28, 2007

California health officials are warning consumers not to eat certain brands of diced yellow onions that could be contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria.

The onions are sold by an Oxnard, Calif., distributor to stores and restaurants in six Western states.

Gills Onions was voluntarily recalling 45,500 pounds that were sold to restaurants and Trader Joe’s stores in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The onions on sale at Trade Joe’s are in 10-ounce, re-sealable plastic pouches and carry the Trader Joe’s brand name. Officials said consumers should avoid packages with the lot code 2017-R22 1956D with a best-used-by date of June 16, 2007, on the back.

Restaurant and other food service operators should look for cartons containing four, five-pound bags of Gills Onions Brand or Sysco Natural Brand onions.

Gills Onions started the recall after sampling conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture found Listeria monocytogenes in a pouch of Trader Joe’s onions.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Infections can sometimes be fatal in newborns, the elderly and people with weak immune systems. A Listeria infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

California Public Health Officer Mark Horton said no illnesses had been reported.

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