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Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen raw breaded chicken expands to Alberta, BC

The nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products total has grown and expanded to additional provinces, according Canadian health officials.

The Salmonella Enteritidis infections are now reported in six provinces  with additional cases reported in British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), and Ontario (3), bringing the total to 18 cases of illnesses under investigation.

Image/CFIA

Here are the details: British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), Ontario (10), Quebec (2), New Brunswick (2), and Nova Scotia (2). Six people have been hospitalized. One of the ill individuals has died; however, it has not been determined if Salmonella contributed to the cause of death.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to frozen raw breaded chicken products has been identified as a source of illness. Several individuals involved in the outbreak reported eating Janes Pub Style Chicken Burgers before their illness occurred. Food samples of Janes Pub Style Chicken Burgers (800 g), with best before date 2018 MA 12, and Janes Pub Style Snacks Popcorn Chicken (800 g), with best before date 2018 MA 15, tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis. The positive food samples had the same genetic fingerprint (using whole genome sequencing) as the cases of human illness reported in this outbreak. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a food recall warning for these products and is working with industry to ensure the product is removed from the retail market.

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All products have been distributed nationally.

Since 2015, this is the third national outbreak investigation that has led to the recall of frozen breaded chicken products.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products. Illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing these types of food products.

This outbreak is a reminder that frozen raw breaded chicken products contain raw poultry and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products. Follow cooking instructions carefully and verify the internal temperature after cooking, as recommended, before consuming these products. Frozen raw breaded chicken products must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat.

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