November 20, 2017

Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Linked to Frozen Raw Breaded Chicken

A Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 18 people in six provinces is linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products, according to Public Health Canada. This is the third national outbreak in Canada linked to those types of products. There have been several similar outbreaks in the United States in the past few years, including a large outbreak linked to frozen raw stuffed breaded chicken products produced by Aspen Foods, which is owned by Koch Poultry, in 2015, and another that was linked to Barber Foods products that same year.

Salmonella

These products appear to be fully cooked, but they are raw, and the package states that information. These products are often cooked in the microwave, which can leave cold spots in food, meaning that pathogenic bacteria can survive and make someone sick.

Two products have been recalled in this outbreak. They are Janes Pub Style Chicken Burgers – Uncooked Breaded Chicken Burgers (800 g) with a best before date of May 12, 2018 (2018 MA 12) and UPC number 0 69299 12491 0; and Janes Pub Style Snacks Popcorn Chicken – Uncooked Breaded Chicken Cutlettes (800 g) with a best before date of May 15, 2018 (2018 MA 15) and UPC number 0 69299 12542 9. If you bought these products, don’t eat them. Throw them away in a sealed container, or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. These products were distributed nationally at the retail level.

The case count outbreak by province is:  British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), Ontario (10), Quebec (2), New Brunswick (2), and Nova Scotia (2). Six people have been hospitalized. One of these patients has died, but it has not been determined if Salmonella contributed to the cause of death. People became sick between June and September, 2017.

Several people sickened in this outbreak reported eating the recalled products before they were sickened. Samples of those recalled products tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, the same bacteria that has sickened outbreak victims. And the bacteria in those food samples had the same genetic fingerprint, retrieved using whole genome sequencing, as the samples from ill persons.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may be bloody. Most people get sick within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Those most at risk of a serious complication with this infection include children, infants, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems.

To protect yourself and your family, always be careful when handling chicken. In the Aspen Foods and Barber Foods outbreaks in the United States, people reported cooking the chicken as directed on the package and even used a food thermometer. It’s possible that some of the contaminated breading fell off the chicken before it was cooked and contaminated surfaces or utensils.

When working with chicken, never put cooked chicken on a plate that held raw chicken. Use a food thermometer whenever you cook chicken and make sure the chicken reaches a temperature of 165°F. An accurate, digital food thermometer is the best type to use. Avoid cross-contamination between any raw chicken product and foods that are not cooked. And always wash your hands well with soap and water before cooking, after handling raw chicken and other meats, and before you eat.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one were sickened in the Barber Foods or Aspen Foods frozen raw breaded chicken Salmonella outbreaks in the United States, contact the lawyers from our experienced legal team for help at 1-888-377-8900.

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