CHICAGO (CBS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning that fresh whole onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico have caused a Salmonella outbreak in 37 states – including Illinois.

The fresh whole red, white, and yellow onions are distributed by ProSource Inc. They were sold to restaurants and grocery stores around the country.

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Illinois has reported a total of 37 cases of Salmonella linked to the onions. There have been 652 cases nationwide.

ProSource reported the onions were last imported Aug. 27, but they can last up to three months in storages and some homes and businesses may still have them.

Investigators are working to determine if other onions or suppliers are involved in the outbreak.

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The CDC advised not serving onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource. You should check coolers and storage spaces for the onions, and throw them away if you don’t know where they came from.

Any surfaces that came into contact with the onions should also be sanitized.

Any onions that do not have a sticker or packaging should also be thrown away.

One question we wondered about is whether one can cook Salmonella out of onions. Experts online say yes – but it is the outer part of the onion which touches surfaces when chopped that is of concern.

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More information is available here.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff