OTTAWA, June 18, 2018 /CNW/ - This notice has been updated to advise Canadians who handle, prepare and consume poultry,
including frozen raw breaded chicken products, of the increased risk to their health if proper safe food handling practices are not followed. This update also includes an additional 9 cases of illness that have been identified in the outbreak. There
Why you should take note?
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial and territorial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in nine provincial and territorial jurisdictions with cases of human illness linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.
Based on the investigation evidence to date, poultry, including frozen breaded chicken products containing raw poultry, pose an increased health risk to individuals who handle, prepare or consume these types of foods. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians to follow proper food safety practices when handling, preparing or consuming any type of poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products such as chicken burgers, nuggets, and strips.
As part of this outbreak investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall warning on June 2, 2018 for the following product:
Canadians are advised not to consume the recalled product, and retailers and restaurants are advised to not serve the recalled product.
Although Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products, this outbreak is a reminder that Salmonella can be present in poultry and various brands of frozen raw breaded chicken products. Illnesses can be avoided by following cooking instructions carefully and verifying the internal temperature after cooking, as recommended, 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 that they are safe to eat. Whole poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 82°C (180°F).
Currently, there are 68 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness in nine jurisdictions: British Columbia (8), Alberta (9), Manitoba (9), Ontario (15), Quebec (23), New Brunswick (1), Nova Scotia (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (1), and the Northwest Territories (1). Fifteen people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between March and May 2018. The average age of cases is 35 years, with ages ranging from 1 to 85 years. The majority of cases (56%) 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 of the ill individuals involved in the outbreak reported having eaten No Name brand chicken burgers before their illness occurred. A food sample of No Name brand Chicken Burgers (1kg), with a best before date of February 6, 2019, tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis. The positive food sample had the same genetic fingerprint (using whole genome sequencing) as cases of human illness reported in this outbreak. As part of the food safety investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall warning for the contaminated product. The CFIA is working with industry to ensure that this product is removed from the retail market. The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible that more products linked to the outbreak investigation will be identified. The public health notice will be updated as the investigation evolves.
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 to still be able to spread the infection to others.
What you should do to protect your health?
Check to see whether you have the recalled frozen raw breaded chicken product in your home or place of business. If you do:
Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately following any contact with a recalled product.
Beyond recalled food items, frozen raw breaded chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, but they may contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.
If you are preparing breaded chicken products, such as nuggets, strips or burgers, the following precautions should be taken to protect your health:
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 any poultry products:
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 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 the 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 this investigation becomes available.
SOURCE Health Canada
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