OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian public health officials released another notice on Oct. 26 stating that more outbreaks of Salmonella infections continue across the country are linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.
The latest active investigation includes Salmonella Enteritidis, which has 25 cases of illness in nine provinces – one in British Columbia, three in Alberta, three in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba, 12 in Ontario, two in Quebec, one in New Brunswick, one in Prince Edward Island and one in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Two people have been hospitalized and no one has been reported dead.
In the latest effort to combat the outbreak, the CFIA announced that Sonia Foods Inc. is recalling Janes Brand Pub Style Chicken Burgers due to possible Salmonella contamination.
The CFIA said the chicken burgers were sold in 800-gram packages with a best before date of May 14, 2019. The UPC code for the burgers was 0 69299 12491 0. The products were sold across the country.
Since the Salmonella outbreak began in May 2017, 474 laboratory confirmed cases of Salmonella illnesses were recorded according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Ninety people were hospitalized. Three people have died, however, the agency 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.
In March, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (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.
But the persistent problem of illnesses associated with raw chicken products prompted Canada’s Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health to issue a public statement stressing the importance of proper handling of raw poultry products, including frozen raw breaded chicken.
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 vital before and after handling raw chicken products, and surfaces, dishes and utensils used to prepare and serve them should be washed and sanitized.