OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.
The Public Health Agency of Canada reported 47 cases of illness in eight provinces, and the CFIA announced that Loblaw Cos. Ltd. launched a recall of 1.81kg bags of $10 Chicken Fries bearing the code 2019 JN 22 and a UPC of 0 60249 01411 4.
As of Oct. 1, there have been 429 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella illnesses across Canada that have been investigated by public health officials and linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products. Eighty-six individuals have been hospitalized as part of those outbreaks. Three people have died, however the Public Health Agency of Canada noted that Salmonella was not the cause of death for two of those individuals, and it was not determined whether Salmonella contributed to the cause of death for the third person.
The problem of Salmonella infections is so persistent that Canada’s Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health issued a statement urging Canadians to follow proper food safety practices to avoid getting sick.
Frozen raw breaded chicken products should be cooked thoroughly according to the package instructions to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) using a digital food thermometer to ensure the food is at the proper temperature.
Also, handwashing is important before and after handling raw chicken products, and surfaces, dishes and utensils used to prepare and serve them should be washed and sanitized.