The Wyoming Department of Health is cautioning consumers to be aware of eating onions from Thomson International, Inc., that have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Newport.

The department has identified at least 16 cases among Wyoming residents so far, adding there have been at least 396 cases nationwide.

Wyoming cases have been reported in Campbell, Carbon, Crook, Goshen, Natrona, Sheridan and Teton counties. Half the cases are from Campbell County.

“People ill in connection to this outbreak described eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas and dips,” said Tiffany Greenlee, a Wyoming Department of Health surveillance epidemiologist.

“That’s why we’re recommending residents should not eat, serve or sell any onions from Thomson International Inc., or products made with these onions," Greenlee said.

Greenlee also offers these recommendations:

  • Check refrigerators and kitchens for potentially affected onions or fresh foods made with them.
  • Check packages or look for stickers on an onion to see if it is from Thomson International, Inc. If it is, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
  • If you can’t tell where onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
  • Look for foods with onions and do not eat them if it’s unknown where onions came from. Throw them away even if no one got sick.
  • Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, refrigerator drawers, knives and cutting boards.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps six hours to six days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts four days to a week, and most people recover without treatment, according to the health department.

However, the illness may be so severe that people need to be hospitalized.

Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.

Children younger than 5, adults 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

More information about salmonella and outbreak updates can be found on the CDC's website.

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