OTTAWA, March 15, 2018 /CNW/ -
Why you should take note?
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in four provinces with cases of human illness linked to
The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products. Illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing these types of food products.
This outbreak is a reminder to properly handle, cook and store poultry, including frozen breaded chicken products to avoid getting sick. Frozen raw breaded chicken products contain raw poultry and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products. Canadians are advised to follow cooking instructions carefully and verify the internal temperature after cooking before consuming these products. Frozen raw breaded chicken products and raw poultry pieces must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat. Whole poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 82°C (180°F).
Currently, there are 30 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness in four provinces: Alberta (2), Ontario (17), Quebec (7), and New Brunswick (4). Four individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals became sick between May 2017 and February 2018. The average age of cases is 32 years, with ages ranging from 1 to 73 years. The majority of cases (57%) are male.
Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products has been identified as a source of illness. Several individuals who became ill reported consuming a mix of poultry and frozen raw breaded chicken products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a food safety investigation into a source of the outbreak. At this time, there is no food recall warning associated with this outbreak. The outbreak investigation is ongoing.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are more fragile.
Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others.
What you should do to protect your health?
Frozen raw breaded chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned but they contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.
Foods carrying Salmonella may look, smell and taste normal, so it's important to follow our safe food handling tips for buying, chilling, thawing, cleaning, cooking, and storing poultry products:
If you are preparing frozen raw breaded chicken products, such as nuggets, strips or burgers, the following precautions should be taken to protect your health:
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal or contaminated product.
These symptoms usually last for four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness and hospitalization may occur. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care provider if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.
What is the Government of Canada doing?
The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation of an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.
Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.
The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
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