August 3, 2020 – The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) urges Coloradans to protect their health by carefully monitoring the source of the onions they consume. This comes with the news this past weekend that at least 11 cases of Salmonella Newport have been reported in Colorado. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement late July 31 indicated the source of the nationwide outbreak as a California-based provider who has issued a recall of all varieties of its onions. See the FDA news: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-newport-red-onions-july-2020
“Colorado produce growers hold food safety as their number one priority,” said CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton. “CFVGA has been and will continue to be proactive training produce growers in science-based produce safety risk reduction protocols for them to incorporate on their farms. Produce consumption is exceedingly important for human health, and we will do everything we can to ensure our produce is safe and wholesome.”
CFVGA urges Colorado consumers to follow FDA and Centers for Disease control guidelines in selecting and consuming onions until notification that all affected product has been taken off the market:
- Confirm the source of onions purchased or consumed outside the home. Product bearing the Colorado Proud logo or any other Colorado-based grower is not part of the recall. If in doubt, throw the product away.
- Any individual or restaurant/institution that may have prepared recalled onions should use extra vigilance to clean and sanitize surfaces and containers (cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators) that could have touched recalled products.
- Consumers experiencing Salmonella symptoms (diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps) should contact their health care provider.
Over the past five years, CFVGA has held dozens of Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule training classes for Colorado growers and has offered training to assist growers in developing individual food safety plans for their farms. CFVGA partners with Colorado State University Extension, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Western Growers and other organizations to bring comprehensive, current food safety training to produce growers throughout Colorado.
The CFVGA has approximately 250 members, including produce operations of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.