New chicken recall issued

Another cooked chicken product is subject to recall, the latest in a number of chicken-related recall warnings issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The most recent was a recall warning for Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken, which was issued Aug. 18.

Reuven International Ltd. brand of Natural Proportion Cooked Chicken Meat and Sysco brand Natural Proportions Cooked Shredded Chicken are the latest to be recalled due to possible contamination with listeria bacteria.

The products were distributed nationally to hotels, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and retail outlets, the CFIA said in an Aug. 21 news release.

Both the Reuven and Sysco products are in the 4.54 kilogram package with pack dates of Jan. 21, 2019.

They should not be eaten or sold, the CFIA advised. The products should be thrown out or returned to place of purchase.

The Canadian Public Health Agency continues to investigate an outbreak of food-related illness first begun in June. As of Aug. 18, the agency reported seven confirmed cases of listeria-related illness in three provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.

“The collaborative outbreak investigation was initiated because of an increase of listeria illnesses that were reported in June 2019,” the health agency said on its website.

“Through the use of a laboratory method called whole genome sequencing, two listeria illnesses from November 2017 were identified to have the same genetic strain as the illnesses that occurred between April and June 2019.

“It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because of the delay between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. This period is called the case reporting delay. In national listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigations, the case reporting delay is usually between four and six weeks.”

The agency further said many people are exposed to listeria bacteria but only some will become ill. Symptoms, which can appear as early as three days after eating contaminated food, include fever, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, headache, constipation and muscle aches.

In severe cases, which generally appear two to three weeks after exposure, the bacteria can spread to the nervous system, causing stiff neck, confusion and loss of balance. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women and the elderly.

Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics but early diagnosis is key, the agency said.

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