Green onions sold at five Greater Toronto Area outlets run by Highland Farms, including the one at Matheson Blvd. E. and Hurontario St., are the suspected cause of a Salmonella Orianenburg outbreak.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says green onions sold at five Highland Farms supermarkets in the Greater Toronto Area, including one in Mississauga, have tested positive for salmonella bacteria.
While the onions haven’t been definitively pegged as the source of an outbreak that’s sickened 25 young people in the area, the unmarked, unwrapped bunches are being looked at by federal and provincial investigators.
The federal agency is now trying to determine where the onions were produced and shipped, says Linda LeBlanc, a food safety recall specialist with the federal agency.
Some of the rubber band-wrapped onions were sold at the Highland Farms supermarket at 4750 Dufferin St. on July 30-31 and Aug. 1, an agency press release says. The other locations include the highlands stores at 50 Matheson Blvd. in Mississauga, 3300 Rutherford Rd. in Vaughan and 850 Ellesmere Rd. and 148 Bennett Rd. in Scarborough.
The Ontario Health Ministry, meanwhile, is continuing to investigate the outbreak to see if other sources or foods might have been involved with this rare species of Salmonella.
Ministry spokesman Andrew Morrison said yesterday the province isn’t satisfied that the onions were the only “smoking gun” and that they will be looking to make sure the contamination wasn’t more widespread.
Because many of the sick were men in their 20s, Morrison says the ministry is looking at the possibility they were involved in a sporting event, like a softball tournament, where they possibly ate contaminated food.