While a number of frozen chicken products have been recalled over the past few months due to possible Salmonella contamination, a national investigation has been launched into an outbreak of a foodborne illness across Canada linked to a different brand chicken products from the U.S.
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced on August 19 that it is working with Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and provincial partners on this investigation.
As of August 18, there have been seven confirmed cases outbreak involving Listeria monocytogenes in British Columbia (one case), Manitoba (one case), and Ontario (five cases) between November 2017 and June 2019. Six individuals have been hospitalized.
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacteria that causes Listeriosis, more commonly known as Listeria.
The CFIA announced on August 18 that Rosemount Sales and Marketing is recalling Rosemount brand diced chicken meat, made in the USA, due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, and the product is identified as the probably source of the illness outbreak.
The product has primarily been distributed within food-service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes, rather than retail sale.
It has been distributed in several provinces—including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia—and may have been distributed nationally.
The affected product is cooked diced chicken meat from 13 millimetres to one-half inch (#16305) in 4.54 kilogram packages with UPC number 2 06 20263 12454 7 and a date code stating “PACKDATE: 01/21/19”.
Anyone who became sick from consuming this product should contact a doctor, and anyone who has this product should dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase.
Although food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not appear or smell spoiled, it can still cause illness.
Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, cramps, and diarrhea or constipation.
While infected pregnant women may only experience mild, flu-like symptoms, it can cause premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or stillbirth.
Severe cases—in which the bacteria spreads to the nervous system (including nerves, spinal cord, and brain)—may be fatal. Symptoms of severe cases include neck stiffness, confusion, headaches, and loss of balance.