OTTAWA, Ontario – The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported 98 cases of Salmonella Infantis infections related to raw poultry. Infections have been reported in nine provinces. Sixteen individuals have been hospitalized, but all patients have recovered or are recovering, the agency said.

PHAC is strongly advising consumers to take precautions when handling any poultry products.

“Information provided by individuals who became sick indicates that some illnesses may have been caused by improperly handling and repackaging raw poultry products,” PHAC said in a public health notice. “Other individuals who were sick reported consuming various brands and types of chicken. A sample of raw chicken taken from the home of an individual who was sick has tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella Infantis which suggests raw chicken is the likely source of the outbreak.”

PHAC said Salmonella bacteria are most often transmitted to people when they eat or improperly handle or cook foods contaminated with the pathogen. Contaminated foods can come from poultry beef, milk or eggs in addition to fruits, vegetables and herbs.