CANADA - Canadian officials have been investigating an outbreak of Salmonella linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.
The Public Health Agency of Canada collaborated with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate the infections in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products, but the risks are low if chicken is handled and cooked properly. Older people and children are more at risk of infection, and in some cases individuals can pass on the infection without displaying any symptoms themselves.
44 cases of Salmonella illness were found in four provinces: Ontario (28), Quebec (12), Nova Scotia (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (2). Twelve people have been hospitalised, but no deaths have been reported.
Individuals became ill between 7 February and 23 May 2015. Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to frozen raw breaded chicken products has emerged as a source of illness.
Due to uneven heating, the Public Health Agency said that microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded poultry products including chicken nuggets, strips or burgers is not recommended, and that consumers should always follow package cooking instructions.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak, and the Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.
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