OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2018 /CNW/ - Update
This notice has been updated to include five more cases of illness reported in western Canada, as well as additional information on the possible source of this outbreak.
Why you should take note
The Public Health Agency of Canada
Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to long English cucumbers has been identified as the likely source of the outbreak. Many of the individuals who became sick reported eating long English cucumbers before their illness. However, more information is needed to determine the possible causes of contamination. The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as illnesses continue to be reported.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is issuing this updated public health notice to inform residents in western Canada of the investigation findings to date and to share important safe food handling practices to help prevent further Salmonella infections. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that residents in eastern Canada are affected by this outbreak.
This public health notice will be updated on a regular basis as the investigation evolves.
As of November 2, 2018, there have been 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Infantis illness investigated in the following provinces: British Columbia (42), Alberta (5), Saskatchewan (1), Manitoba (1), and Quebec (1). The individual from Quebec reported traveling to British Columbia before becoming ill. Individuals became sick between mid-June and early-October 2018. Ten individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 1 and 92 years of age. The majority of cases (58%) are female.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency continues to collaborate with the overall outbreak investigation. If contaminated food products are identified, they will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required. Currently there are no Food Recall Warnings associated with this outbreak.
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 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 to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.
What you should do to protect your health
It is difficult to know whether a product is contaminated with Salmonella because you can't see, smell or taste it. To help prevent Salmonella infections, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends monitoring the outbreak investigation by checking for regular updates to this public health notice and following safe food handling tips. The following tips for preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, including long English cucumbers, may help reduce your risk of getting sick, but they may not fully eliminate the risk of illness.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start six 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. In some cases, antibiotics may be required. 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 the Government of Canada is doing
The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation into an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal, provincial and territorial partners to monitor the situation and to collaborate on steps to address an outbreak.
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 these investigations becomes available.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
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