Originally posted by KB4IFS
HEP A is commonly associated with poor hygiene during food service and fecal matter. Bon Appetite
Also due to field sanitation conditions. US crops/fields have porta-potties and clear safety/sanitation rules for harvesters/growers. Such standards are not the case in all countries however. I love fresh veggies, but I fear them... and this is exactly why!
This article says the green onions in question had "small bulbs" whereas the green onions I purchased this weekend to make my salsa with have the largest bulbs I have ever seen on green onions. - I'll be proceeding with my salsa!!! who-hoo!
Green Onions Chopped from Menus on Health Scare
Thu Nov 20, 5:53 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!
By Anna Driver
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Until recently, green onions added a dash of flavor and color to soups, salads and other dishes. But now major U.S. restaurant chains are banning the common garnish after it was linked to outbreaks of the hepatitis A virus.
Raw or lightly cooked green onions -- onions harvested while the top is still green and the bulb small -- were associated with outbreaks of hepatitis A in three states in September. Some of those onions were thought to have been imported from Mexico.
A recent outbreak of the virus that sickened more than 500 people in Pennsylvania has not been tied to green onions, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) issued a warning on Nov. 15 that consumers should thoroughly cook the vegetable. Three people infected with the virus died.
U.S. border inspectors were halting imports of raw green onions from three Mexican companies linked to two of the hepatitis A outbreaks, but not from all Mexican suppliers, the Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday.
The FDA statement, which did not identify the companies, said it was clarifying remarks by a top FDA official on Wednesday who said the United States was barring all Mexican green onions.
Taco Bell, a unit of Yum Brands Inc., is taking no chances. The fast-food Mexican restaurant chain has banned green onions from its 6,500 U.S. restaurants.
"We've not had incidents or complaints, but we did pull all green onions," Laurie Schalow, a spokeswoman for the Irvine, California-based chain, said. "We will wait until the FDA says it's safe to return them to our restaurants."
Other restaurants that have stopped using green onions include upscale chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., and privately held Panda Restaurant Group, which operates more than 600 restaurants.
Chi-Chi's Inc., the Mexican chain where hundreds of people fell ill with hepatitis A after eating at its Beaver Valley, Pennsylvania-based restaurant, has also stopped using green onions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Friday will release an update on the Pennsylvania outbreak, including the food sources that have caused at least three deaths and where it originated.
Hepatitis A is usually mild but can cause fever, exhaustion, vomiting, abdominal pain and in rare cases, death.
The hepatitis outbreak has hurt sales of green onions. In the United States, large growers found in southern California, but many onions are imported from Mexico.