Colorado Ag Department Monitoring Salmonella Outbreak in California Onions
BROOMFIELD, CO – August 3, 2020 – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) are monitoring a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an outbreak of Salmonella Newport in red onions that have been traced to a single provider in Bakersfield, California as the likely source. The outbreak has resulted in a number of consumers falling ill nationwide, including in Colorado.
The source of the outbreak is limited to the facility in California and is not related to onions grown in Colorado. Consumers and retailers should feel safe selecting and eating onions grown in Colorado. Information regarding the Salmonella Newport outbreak and the recall, as well as instructions for consumers, can be found in this FDA Announcement and the CDC alert.
Establishing a culture of produce safety has been a long standing priority for Colorado producers and CDA.
“Incorporating high safety standards in the production of produce is paramount not only to the health and safety of our consumers but also to the overall success of Colorado’s produce industry,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg.
Over the last five years, Colorado has incorporated safety standards that have been created through the Food Safety Modernization Act. The implementation effort includes a comprehensive grower training and education initiative led by Colorado State University Extension, the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and other industry associations. In addition, through various inspection programs, CDA conducts numerous safety inspections of produce farms to ensure safety standards are followed and farms are in compliance with USDA Good Agricultural Practices.
CDA will continue monitoring the situation in California with its industry and regulatory partners, and CDPHE will continue to investigate reports of Salmonella Newport among Colorado residents associated with eating the implicated onions grown in California.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.