OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported 68 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products. Fifteen individuals have been hospitalized.

A food safety investigation launched by CFIA and Public Health Agency of Canada revealed several case patients who reported eating No Name brand chicken burgers before getting sick. A sample of No Name brand chicken burgers tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, and pathogen in the chicken burgers had the same genetic fingerprint as the pathogen that sickened some of the case patients.

CFIA issued a recall of No Name brand chicken burgers (1 kg), with a best before date of Feb. 6, 2019. The product was distributed throughout Canada.

“The CFIA is working with industry to ensure that this product is removed from the retail market,” the agency said in a statement. “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.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada said the current outbreak is a reminder to consumers that Salmonella can be present in poultry and various brands of frozen raw breaded chicken products. The agency said consumers can avoid illness by carefully following cooking instructions and verifying the internal temperature after cooking. 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), the agency said.

The outbreak comes as CFIA and other federal food safety agencies are collaborating with the poultry industry to implement measures aimed at reducing Salmonella at the manufacturing and processing levels of production.

In March, CFIA announced new measures that identify Salmonella as a hazard and call for processors to implement modifications that reduce Salmonella to below a detectable amount in products such as chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, chicken strips, popcorn chicken and chicken burgers that are packaged for retail sale. CFIA granted industry a 12-month implementation period to begin immediately.