September 22, 2017

Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Linked to Frozen Raw Chicken Products

The Public Health Agency of Canada has stated that the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak in that country announced in late June, 2017 has been linked to a recalled frozen chicken product. Twelve people in four different provinces are sick.

Loblaw Pub Recipe Chicken Nugget Salmonella Recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning for President’s Choice brand Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets in 800 gram packages with a best before date of 2018 MR 15. The product was distributed across the country.

The statement says that the risk to Canadians is low. There have been Salmonella outbreaks in the past in the U.S. linked to raw frozen breaded chicken products. In 2015, there were two of these outbreaks in the United States. The first outbreak was linked to Barber raw Chicken Kiev products, sickening 15 people in seven states. The second, linked to Aspen Foods raw breaded chicken products, sickened five people and hospitalized two. Those products often look cooked even though they are raw. Some types of preparation, especially microwave use, can leave cold spots in the meat where bacteria can survive.

Food safety experts state that consumers should follow cooking instructions on labels for these foods very carefully. Always use a reliable food thermometer to ensure that the temperature is at least 165°F.

The case count for the Canadian outbreak is: British Columbia (1), Alberta (5), Ontario (5) and New Brunswick (1). Two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between April and June of this year. The majority of cases (67%) are male. The average age of cases is 23 years.

A sample of the President’s Choice Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets collected from a retail establishment tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis and had the same genetic fingerprint as the cases of human illness. The investigation is ongoing and it’s possible that more products linked to or associated with this outbreak will be identified.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, and vomiting. People usually get sick 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Patients are sick for four to seven days, and most recover without medical intervention. If you or anyone you know ate the recalled product and has been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor.

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