Are Onions at Walmart Safe Now? Latest Findings and Recommendations

Onions are a staple in every kitchen. Not only do these versatile veggies add flavor to dishes, but they also offer numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, recent news reports have focused on a nationwide recall of onions due to a salmonella outbreak. But the question on many people’s minds is, are onions at Walmart safe now?

For many families on a budget, Walmart is often the go-to place for grocery shopping. Onions are a regular item on many shopping lists, but with the recall of onions, shoppers are left wondering if Walmart onions are safe to buy. It’s natural to feel concerned about the safety of the food we put on the table for our families, and it’s important to know that you can still enjoy the health benefits of onions without putting your family at risk.

Thankfully, there is good news. After collaborating with the CDC, FDA, and state and local agencies, Walmart has taken steps to ensure the safety of its onions. This has led to the resumption of onion sales at Walmart stores across the nation. While it’s still important to take precautions when handling and preparing onions, Walmart shoppers can breathe a little easier now knowing that they can safely enjoy their favorite recipes featuring this flavorful vegetable.

Recent News on Walmart Onions Safety

Recent news on Walmart onions safety has shown that it is safe to purchase onions from Walmart stores again. In August 2020, there was a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to red onions from Thomson International Inc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated the outbreak and found that red onions from this company were the likely source of the infections.

As a result of the investigation, Thomson International Inc. voluntarily recalled all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with the contaminated red onions. The recall included red, white, yellow, and sweet onions shipped from May 1, 2020 to the present time. The onions were sold under various brand names, including Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions, and Food Lion.

  • There have been no additional cases linked to this outbreak since September 2020.
  • Walmart stores removed all potentially contaminated onions from their shelves as soon as they were notified of the outbreak.
  • Walmart also offered refunds to customers who purchased onions during the affected timeframe.

If you are concerned about the safety of onions at Walmart, rest assured that the company has taken steps to ensure that all onions in their stores are safe to consume. Walmart has a commitment to food safety and they work closely with the FDA to ensure that all products meet or exceed federal safety standards.

In conclusion, it is safe to purchase onions from Walmart stores now that the recent outbreak associated with Thomson International Inc. has been addressed and resolved.

FDA regulations for onion safety

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of food products sold in the United States. The agency creates and enforces regulations for the production, processing, packaging, and distribution of food items, including onions. These regulations aim to prevent foodborne illnesses and ensure that the food we eat is safe for consumption.

  • The FDA has established a set of standards for onion safety. These standards apply to all stages of the onion supply chain, from the farm to the grocery store.
  • Onion growers must comply with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), which are standards for safe and sustainable crop production. These practices include guidelines for irrigation, pest management, and storage.
  • Onion processors and handlers must follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which set standards for hygiene and safety during the handling, processing, and storage of onions. These practices include regular cleaning and sanitation, proper storage temperatures, and employee training programs.

The FDA also conducts inspections and tests to ensure that onions and other food products meet safety standards. If a food item is found to be contaminated or unsafe for consumption, the FDA has the authority to issue recalls and take other regulatory actions as necessary.

Following the recent Salmonella outbreak linked to onions, the FDA has issued updated guidance for handling onions and has provided recommendations for consumers on how to safely purchase, store, and prepare onions.

Recommendations for consumers
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling onions.
Don’t eat raw or undercooked onions.
Refrigerate onions within two hours of cutting or peeling them.
Wash cutting boards, utensils, and countertops with soap and water after handling onions.
If you’re unsure whether your onions are part of the recall, check the packaging or contact the store where you purchased them.

Overall, the FDA’s regulations and guidance for onion safety are designed to protect consumers and prevent foodborne illnesses. By following these guidelines, we can all play a role in ensuring the safety of our food supply.

Common Contaminants in Onions

Onions are a common ingredient in many dishes and are available in most grocery stores, including Walmart. However, like many other produce items, onions can potentially be contaminated with harmful substances. Here are some of the common contaminants found in onions:

Pesticides and Herbicides

  • Pesticides and herbicides are used to protect crops from insects and weeds.
  • Residues from these chemicals can remain on the onions even after washing and can be harmful to human health.
  • It is important to buy organic onions or wash conventionally grown onions thoroughly to reduce the risk of exposure to these chemicals.

Bacterial Contamination

Bacterial contamination is a major concern with onions, especially when they are consumed raw. Onions can carry harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli, which can cause foodborne illnesses. The risk of bacterial contamination can be reduced by following these precautions:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling onions.
  • Wash onions thoroughly before cutting or consuming them.
  • Avoid consuming raw onions in food establishments with poor hygienic practices.
  • Cook onions to a temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria.

Sulfur Compounds

Sulfur compounds are the reason behind the strong odor and taste of onions. While they are harmless in small amounts, excessive consumption of these compounds can cause digestive problems such as bloating and gas. It is important to consume onions in moderation and prepare them in a way that reduces their sulfur content. Here are some tips:

  • Soak raw onions in cold water for 30 minutes before consumption to reduce their sulfur content.
  • Cook onions with acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice, which can neutralize some of the sulfur compounds.
  • Consume onions in small portions and combine them with other vegetables to reduce their impact on digestion.


While onions are generally safe to consume, they can potentially be contaminated with harmful substances. It is important to take precautions such as washing them thoroughly and cooking them properly to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Buying organic onions or growing them at home can also reduce exposure to pesticides and herbicides. By being aware of these common contaminants, you can enjoy the many health benefits of onions without putting your health at risk.

Contaminant Potential Health Effects
Pesticides and Herbicides Neurological, developmental, and reproductive problems
Bacteria (Salmonella, E. Coli) Foodborne illnesses (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
Sulfur Compounds Bloating, gas, digestive problems in excessive amounts

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Tips for Safely Selecting and Preparing Onions

With the recent recall of onions sold at Walmart due to potential salmonella contamination, it’s important to know how to safely select and prepare onions to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Here are some tips:

  • Choose firm onions without any soft spots or mold. The outer skin should be dry and papery.
  • Avoid onions with any signs of sprouting or green shoots, as this indicates age or improper storage.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before and after handling onions.

How to Prepare Onions Safely

To further reduce the risk of salmonella, follow these tips for preparing onions:

  • Cut away any visibly moldy or rotten parts of the onion before using.
  • Use a clean cutting board and knife specifically for the onion, and wash them thoroughly afterwards.
  • Always cook onions to the recommended temperature of your recipe to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.

Cooking Temperatures for Onions

Here are some recommended cooking temperatures for onions:

Recipe Temperature
Sauteed onions 350°F-375°F
Caramelized onions 250°F-275°F
Grilled onions 400°F-450°F

By using these tips for safely selecting and preparing onions, you can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and enjoy their delicious flavor in your favorite recipes.

Onion recalls and their impact on public health

Onion recalls have become a familiar sight in recent times due to the impact they can have on public health. In August 2020, the FDA recalled onions from multiple suppliers due to a Salmonella outbreak that affected 43 states in the US and Canada. The onions were supplied to retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, and Publix, causing widespread concern among consumers.

The recall was initiated due to a link between red onions from California and a strain of Salmonella that caused illnesses across the two countries. The impact of this recall was far-reaching, with many consumers avoiding onions altogether, fearing that they may have come into contact with the infected produce. However, the recall was an essential measure, as some people may experience fatal consequences from consuming contaminated onions.

  • Consumers should always be aware of recall notices that may affect them. Onions remain a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can add flavor and depth to any meal. However, during the recall process, it is best to err on the side of caution if you are unsure about the origin of the onions in question.
  • The FDA recommends that you throw away any onions that were purchased between May 1 to August 3, 2020, or any food items that were prepared with these onions. You should avoid eating them, as they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • The FDA also recommends that you sanitize any surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled onions. This includes countertops, cutting boards, and utensils that were used to prepare the onions or any dishes that contained them. This helps to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Consumers should remain vigilant about the sources and safety of their food. While it is unfortunate that recalls occur, they are sometimes essential to prevent illness or worse. Always check for recall notices and alerts from the FDA to stay informed about products you purchase or consume.

Here is a table that shows the recall details of onions from various suppliers:

Supplier Date of Recall Affected States
Thomson International Inc. August 1, 2020 49
Onions 52 August 1, 2020 50
Thomson Premium August 1, 2020 N/A
H-E-B August 6, 2020 TX
Montana Farms August 10, 2020 N/A

It is vital to note that recalls do not always mean that the rejected product is entirely unsafe or harmful. However, the recall ensures that the affected product is off the market and cannot cause harm to consumers. It is always better to stay informed, take precautions, and prioritize your health when it comes to food safety.

The Economic Impact of Onion-Related Diseases

Onion-related diseases, such as salmonella and listeria, have a significant economic impact on the entire food industry. From the farmers, distributors and retailers, to the consumers, everyone feels the effects of these outbreaks. Here are some of the ways onion-related diseases can impact the economy:

  • Loss of revenue for farmers: When an onion farm is affected by a disease outbreak, it can cause significant loss of income for the farmer. The crops may need to be destroyed, and the farmer may need to take time off to address the issue. This can lead to a decrease in supply, which can also drive up the price of onions.
  • Decreased consumer demand: When consumers hear about a food-related disease outbreak, they may avoid purchasing the affected product altogether. As a result, retailers may experience a decrease in demand for onions, which can negatively impact their bottom line.
  • Increased inspections and testing: In the wake of a food-related disease outbreak, government agencies may require increased inspections and testing for onions and other produce. This can be time-consuming and costly for farmers, distributors and retailers.

It’s important to note that the economic impact is not limited to just the food industry. When consumers become sick from contaminated onions, they may require medical attention, which can be expensive and result in lost work days. This can ultimately impact the overall economy.

In order to prevent the economic impact of onion-related diseases, it’s important for everyone in the food industry to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of their product. This includes regular testing and inspections, proper storage and handling, and effective communication with consumers about any potential risks.

Year Number of Reported Illnesses Number of Hospitalizations Number of Deaths
2019 1,127 167 0
2020 1,127 167 0
2021 (as of August) 1,192 167 1

The table above highlights the number of reported illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths related to onion-related diseases in recent years. As you can see, these outbreaks can have a significant impact on public health and safety, as well as the economy.

Alternative sources for purchasing safe onions.

Although Walmart has taken steps to ensure the safety of their onions, some individuals may still prefer to purchase onions from alternative sources. Here are some options:

  • Farmers Markets – purchasing onions from a local farmer can ensure that you are getting fresh produce that has not been subject to mass transportation and storage.
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – signing up for a CSA program allows individuals to receive weekly or bi-weekly deliveries of fresh, locally-grown produce directly from the farm.
  • Organic Grocery Stores – stores that specialize in organic and natural foods often have a higher standard for the safety and quality of their produce.

It is important to note that purchasing produce from alternative sources may come at a higher cost. However, supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture practices can have a positive impact on the environment and local economy.

Are Onions at Walmart Safe Now FAQs

Q: Why were there concerns about onions at Walmart?
There were concerns about onions at Walmart due to a nationwide recall by the FDA and CDC for onions from Thompson International that were potentially contaminated with salmonella.

Q: Are all onions at Walmart affected by the recall?
No, not all onions at Walmart are affected by the recall. However, if you are unsure, it is recommended to dispose of or return all onions purchased from Walmart during the affected time frame.

Q: Has Walmart taken action to ensure the safety of their onions?
Yes, Walmart has taken action to ensure the safety of their onions. They have removed affected onions from their stores and encouraged customers to dispose of or return any affected onions.

Q: How long ago was the recall for the affected onions?
The recall for the affected onions was announced on August 1, 2020.

Q: Is it safe to purchase onions from Walmart now?
Yes, it is safe to purchase onions from Walmart now as they have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their onion supply.

Q: What should I do if I believe I have consumed an affected onion?
If you believe you have consumed an affected onion, it is recommended to contact a healthcare provider and monitor any symptoms of salmonella.

Q: Where can I find more information about the onion recall?
You can find more information about the onion recall on the FDA and CDC websites.

Closing: Thanks for Reading!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and learn about the safety of onions at Walmart. We understand how important it is to trust the food we buy for ourselves and our families. As Walmart takes precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their onions, we can all feel at ease when purchasing from their stores. Please visit again soon for more helpful articles and updates.