Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to breaded chicken

by Erica Shaffer
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 CFIA
At least seven individuals in four provinces were sickened, two people were hospitalized. 
 
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Public Health Agency of Canada and other government agencies are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis linked to frozen raw breaded chicken. Provincial public health agencies, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada also are participating in the investigation.

The individuals became sick between April and May. Most of the case patients (71 percent) are male, and the average age is 26 years, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The cases are spread across four provinces — British Columbia (1), Alberta (4), Ontario (1) and New Brunswick (1). Two individuals have been hospitalized, the agency said.

The investigation revealed frozen raw breaded chicken products as a source of illness. Public health officials said Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products. The outbreak serves as a reminder to consumers that breaded raw poultry should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.

Salmonella can sicken anyone, but infants, children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, the agency noted. Symptoms, which typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria, can include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.

The symptoms can last four to seven days and, in healthy individuals, the infection often passes without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may require hospitalization.

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