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Canadians warned of possible Salmonella risk from breaded chicken

By Karen Graham     Jun 29, 2015 in Food
Canadian consumers are being warned of a possible risk of Salmonella infection from handling, cooking or eating frozen, raw, breaded poultry parts. The warning comes after tracking 44 cases of Salmonellosis across the country.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada, is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador linked to frozen, raw, breaded chicken products.
CTVNews is reporting the Public Health Agency of Canada said "they have tracked 44 cases of salmonella illness in Ontario (28 cases), Quebec (12 cases), Nova Scotia (two cases), and Newfoundland and Labrador (two cases)."
All the Salmonella infection cases occurred between Feb. 7 and May 23, with 12 people being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported at this time. In a statement, the agency said: "Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to frozen raw breaded chicken products has emerged as a source of illness." No deaths have been reported.
Raw meat can contain a number of harmful pathogens, including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. Salmonella and other harmful bacteria can be eliminated by thorough cooking to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F). Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).
What you need to know about Salmonella
Salmonella bacteria are found in the intestines of animals, including birds. The bacteria can be transferred to humans by the consumption of contaminated food. Salmonella infection is called Salmonellosis.
Even though anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of complications because their immune systems are more fragile than healthy individuals.
For an otherwise healthy person, a Salmonella infection may only last a day or two. But it is still possible for an infected person, even without symptoms, to pass the infection to another person. Symptoms of Salmonellosis usually start six to 72 hours after exposure. Symptoms can include the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping.
Protecting your health is the best way to avoid infection
1. It can't be stressed enough, but ALWAYS wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling any raw poultry of other raw meats.
2. When handling ANY RAW MEAT, use a separate plate, cutting board and utensils to stop the spread of bacteria.
3. Frozen raw breaded poultry parts are not cooked, even if they look like they are cooked. Handle them as if they are raw poultry. Always cook to the correct internal temperature of 74°C (165°F).
4. Microwaving of frozen, raw, breaded chicken nuggets, strips or burgers is NOT RECOMMENDED. This includes products labeled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
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