File Photo | Photo: George Hodan

The CDC issued a warning after onions from Mexico have been linked to a massive salmonella outbreak in 37 states, including Illinois, that has caused illness in more than 600 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that fresh whole red, white and yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed from ProSource, Inc. were identified as causing the outbreak.

These onions were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States.

ProSource indicated onions were last imported on August 27, but the imported onions can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses, the CDC said.

At least 652 people, including 37 in Illinois, have been left sick and 129 people have been hospitalized.

No deaths have been reported in the outbreak, which spans at least 37 states.

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The CDC urges people to throw away any whole red, white, or yellow onions they have at home that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource Inc.

They also recommended people throw onions that do not have a sticker or packaging.

Health officials say that most people infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

Symptoms usually start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after four to seven days.

Some people – especially children younger than five years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems – may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.