Salmonellosis : a reminder of burgers and chicken nuggets frozen

A Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 18 people in six provinces is linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products, according to Public Health Canada.

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.

"Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to frozen raw breaded chicken products has been identified as a source of illness", the agency said.

These products appear to be fully cooked, but they are raw, and the package states that information.

And foods contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell bad, but they can still make you sick, the agency said. The frozen food products were sold at stores across Canada. The burger packages carry a date code of 2018 MA and the popcorn chicken package reads 2018 MA 15. If you bought these products, don't eat them.

The CFIA says the recalled packages should be thrown out or returned to the store where purchased.

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All products have been distributed nationally.

Last month the agency issued a notice it was investigating 13 cases of salmonella infection in eastern Canada, including Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Six people were hospitalized. A case could possibly be fatal, but "it has not yet been established if the salmonella had contributed to (the) death", said the Agency, in a statement released Thursday. Individuals became sick between June and September of this year. Samples of those recalled products tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, the same bacteria that has sickened outbreak victims. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Salmonella Enteritidis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections, especially in young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

To protect yourself and your family, always be careful when handling chicken.

Do not re-use the same plate, cutting board or utensils on breaded chicken products after they have been cooked, unless the plate has been thoroughly washed.

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