For many Louisiana residents, a simple step outside this afternoon will erase all the memories of the horrifically hot summer we all just sweated through. This afternoon much of Louisiana will be feeling the effects of the first strong cold front of fall. This change in temperature usually signifies the end of "too hot to heat up the kitchen season" and the beginning of what we like to call "gumbo weather".

Photo courtesy of Lance Leblanc Eat Lafayette

Like every great Louisiana recipe, a good recipe for gumbo is going to include onions. The onion is one of the "Holy Trinity" of Louisiana cooking. The other two ingredients are bell peppers and celery. You'll find these three ingredients are the starting point for some of the most famous Louisiana dishes ever created. That's why an issue with onions is a very big deal. 

Shannon Wikle via
Shannon Wikle via

The United States Food and Drug Administration has just issued a nationwide recall on onions that were produced and distributed by Gills Onion Products. The FDA recall includes data from the Centers for Disease Control that suggests onions included in this recall could be responsible for illnesses reported in 22 different states. Louisiana has not reported an illness with these onion products but several other states in the Gulf South have.

Those who have been treated for illness due to the onions are reporting symptoms consistent with Salmonella. Those symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, chills, headaches, nausea, and in extreme cases dehydration. If you are feeling these symptoms you should seek medical treatment.

The onion products that are included in the recall are:

  • Diced mirepoix (10-ounce cups)
  • Diced celery and onions (8-ounce cups)
  • Diced red onions (8-ounce cups)
  • Diced yellow onions (3-pound bags and 8-ounce cups)

Again the product is from Gills Onion Products. The affected products all have a sell-by date that ranges from August 8th through the 28th. If you have any of these products in your home you're encouraged to discard them. You may use the contact information on the packaging to inquire about refunds or replacement products.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow