KFC-Taco Bell E. coli Contaminated Lettuce Confirmed Cases Reaches 30

Public Health Notice: E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in the Maritimes and Ontario

Updated: 18 January 2013

Why you should take note

 

Since our last update, 1 additional case of E. coli O157:H7 illness was confirmed in New Brunswick as part of this outbreak. This brings the total number of cases to 30. These individuals became ill between late December and early January.

The latest evidence in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s food-borne illness investigation indicates that the most probable cause of the E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in the Maritimes and Ontario is shredded lettuce distributed by FreshPoint Inc. primarily to some KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants. The products were not distributed to grocery stores.

Lettuce has a short shelf life, therefore contaminated products are unlikely to still be available.

As a precaution, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working with FreshPoint Inc. to recall any remaining affected products. At this point, the source of contamination for the shredded lettuce has not been determined. The CFIA has traced the lettuce to its origin in California and has notified U.S. authorities of this finding. The CFIAis verifying that appropriate food safety controls were followed at each step of production, processing and distribution. Immediate action will be taken to ensure that any unsafe food is removed from the marketplace.

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to lead the coordination of the investigation into this outbreak in close collaboration with its health and food safety partners. There are 7 cases in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and 13 in Ontario. The majority of cases have recovered or are recovering. Additional cases of illness may be identified and linked to this outbreak in the future.

Products contaminated with E. coli O157 can pose a serious public health risk.

Status

Investigations into outbreaks of food-borne illness can be complex. Since early January 2013, the Agency has been leading a committee to investigate these illnesses that includes public health and food safety experts from the CFIA, Health Canada and Provincial Health Authorities. The committee meets regularly to share and review the latest information and determine what actions should be taken to protect Canadians.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provincial health and food safety authorities will continue their investigation to determine if additional action is required to protect Canadians.

More information about the epidemiological investigation is also available.

 

Province / Territory Total confirmed cases
New Brunswick 7
Nova Scotia 10
Ontario 13
Total 30

E. coli O157 food-borne illnesses are not uncommon in Canada. In recent years, an average of about 440 cases of this type of E. coli infection was reported annually in Canada.

What you should do

Most strains of E. coli are harmless; however, some strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Serious complications of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include kidney failure.

If you think you are sick with an E. coli infection, consult a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection

Like other foodborne illnesses, the symptoms of E. coli infection mainly involve the gut. Symptoms may vary from person to person; however, they often include:

  • severe stomach cramps;
  • diarrhea (often watery and may develop into bloody);
  • vomiting; and
  • fever (generally not very high – usually less than 38.5˚C/101˚F).

Symptoms usually last five to seven days.

Overall, around 5 to 10 per cent of those who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), an acute renal failure which can be fatal.  Of those, children younger than 5 years old and the elderly are at greatest risk of developing HUS. Symptoms of HUS vary. Some people have seizures or strokes and some need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others live with side effects such as permanent kidney damage.

Who is most at risk?

Infections can occur among people of all ages, however symptoms are likely to be more severe among the very young and the elderly. Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are also at high risk of developing serious complications.

How to protect yourself

Proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices are key to preventing the spread of all foodborne illnesses, including E. coli.

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Contaminated foods may look and smell normal. It is important to ensure that you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them, and cook meat to a safe internal temperature.

Outbreak Update: 18th Victim Confirmed in XL Foods Outbreak

Why you should take note

Products contaminated with E. coli O157 can pose a serious public health risk.

To date, the Public Health Agency of Canada has been working with its health and food safety partners on an investigation into E. coli O157 illnesses that have been linked to the food safety investigation at XL Foods Inc.

Today, one additional case of E. coli O157 illness under investigation in Alberta has been confirmed to be the same specific strain of E. coli O157 observed in the XL Foods Inc. food safety investigation. This individual became ill mid-October and is recovering.

Status

Investigations into outbreaks of foodborne illness can be complex. Since September 26, 2012, the Agency has been leading a committee that includes public health and food safety experts from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and Provincial and Territorial Health Authorities. The committee meets regularly to share and review the latest information and determine what actions should be taken to protect Canadians.

Based on all the information collected to date—epidemiological, microbiological and food safety—the following cases of illness are linked to the specific strain of E. coli O157 observed in the XL Foods Inc., food safety investigation. More information about theepidemiological investigation is also available.

Province / Territory Total confirmed cases
* One case is a visitor to Canada.
  Alberta 8
  Newfoundland and Labrador 1
  Quebec 6
  British Columbia 3*
  Total 18

More information about products that have been recalledExternal Link and how that aspect of the investigation has unfolded, including the temporary closure of Establishment 38, is available on the CFIA websiteExternal Link.

E. coli O157 foodborne illnesses are not uncommon in Canada and no unusual increases in the number of these illnesses have been detected nationally.

What you should do

Most strains of E. coli are harmless; however, some strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Serious complications of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include kidney failure.

If you think you are sick with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, consult a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection

Like other foodborne illnesses, the symptoms of E. coli infection mainly involve the gut. Symptoms may vary from person to person; however, they often include:

  • severe stomach cramps;
  • diarrhea (often watery and may develop into bloody);
  • vomiting; and
  • fever (generally not very high – usually less than 38.5˚C/101˚F).

Symptoms usually last five to seven days.

Around 5 to 10 per cent of those who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 overall and about 15 per cent of young children and the elderly develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can be fatal. Symptoms of HUS vary. Some people have seizures or strokes and some need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others live with side effects such as permanent kidney damage.

Who is most at risk?

Infections can occur among people of all ages, however symptoms are likely to be more severe among the very young and the elderly.  Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are also at high risk of developing serious complications.

How to protect yourself

Proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices are key to preventing the spread of all foodborne illnesses, including E. coli.

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Contaminated foods may look and smell normal. It is important to ensure that you thoroughly cook foods to destroy bacteria. Recalled productsExternal Link, however, should not be consumed and should be thrown away.

 

 

XL Foods E. coli Outbreaks Officially Claims Its 11th Victim

 

Updated : 8 October 2012

Why you should take note

Products contaminated with E. coli O157 can pose a serious public health risk.

To date, the Public Health Agency of Canada has been working with its health and food safety partners on an investigation into E. coli O157 illnesses that have been linked to the food safety investigation at XL Foods Inc.

Today, one case of E. coli O157 illness under investigation in British Columbia has been confirmed to be linked to the specific strain of E. coli O157 observed in the XL Foods Inc. food safety investigation. The individual became ill more than two weeks ago and has recovered.

Status

Investigations into outbreaks of foodborne illness can be complex. Since September 26, 2012, the Agency has been leading a committee that includes public health and food safety experts from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and Provincial and Territorial Health Authorities. The committee meets regularly to share and review the latest information and determine what actions should be taken to protect Canadians.

Based on all the information collected to date—epidemiological, microbiological and food safety—the following cases of illness are linked to products from XL Foods Inc. or illnesses associated with the XL Foods Inc. food safety investigation.

Province / Territory Total confirmed cases
  Alberta 7
  Newfoundland and Labrador 1
  Quebec 2
  British Columbia 1
  Total 11

At this time, there are no other cases linked to the specific strain of E. coli O157 observed in the XL Foods Inc. food safety investigation.

More information about products that have been recalledExternal Link and how that aspect of the investigation has unfolded, including the temporary closure of Establishment 38, is available on the CFIA websiteExternal Link.

E. coli O157 foodborne illnesses are not uncommon in Canada and no unusual increases in the number of these illnesses have been detected nationally.

The investigation continues with the partners working together to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

What you should do

Most strains of E. coli are harmless; however, some strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Serious complications of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include kidney failure.

If you think you are sick with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, consult a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection

Like other foodborne illnesses, the symptoms of E. coli infection mainly involve the gut. Symptoms may vary from person to person; however, they often include :

  • severe stomach cramps;
  • diarrhea (often watery and may develop into bloody);
  • vomiting; and
  • fever (generally not very high—usually less than 38.5˚C/101˚F).

Around 5 to 10 per cent of those who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 overall and about 15 per cent of young children and the elderly develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can be fatal. Symptoms of HUS vary. Some people have seizures or strokes and some need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others live with side effects such as permanent kidney damage.

Symptoms usually last five to seven days.

Who is most at risk?

Infections can occur among people of all ages, however symptoms are likely to be more severe among the very young and the elderly.  Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are also at high risk of developing serious complications.

How to protect yourself

Proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices are key to preventing the spread of all foodborne illnesses, including E. coli.

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Contaminated foods may look and smell normal. It is important to ensure that you thoroughly cook foods to destroy bacteria. Recalled productsExternal Link, however, should not be consumed and should be thrown away.

General food safety

Everyone should practice these general food safety precautions at all times.

 

 

Mango Recall Triggers Fruit Salad Recall

Store-made TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD sold at Southbrook Sobeys store, Edmonton, Alberta may contain Salmonella Braenderup bacteria

Related alerts: 2012-08-29 | 2012-08-29 | 2012-08-28 | 2012-08-27 | 2012-08-24 | 2012-08-24

OTTAWA, August 29, 2012 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and SobeysInc. are warning the public not to consume the store-made Tropical Fruit Salad described below because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup bacteria.

The affected product, store-made Tropical Fruit Salad, 16oz. size, may contain Daniella brand mango as an ingredient. This product was sold only at Southbrook Sobeys, 1109 James Mowatt Trail SW, Edmonton, Alberta up to and including August 29, 2012.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis. If you think you have illness symptoms related to salmonellosis, please contact your family doctor.

The manufacturer, Sobeys Inc., Edmonton, Alberta is voluntarily recalling the affected salad from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Consumer Response Coordinator, Sobeys Inc., at 1-888-476-2397 or email at customer.helpline@sobeys.ca

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Rare Salmonella Strain Sickened 8 in British Columbia Last Year

Outbreak study yields lessons about investigation techniques

 

BY GRETCHEN GOETZ | AUG 30, 2012

PurplePinkSalmonellaMain.jpg

Salmonella  Agbeni — unlike strains such as S. Enteriditis or S. Typhumurium — is rarely responsible for human illness in North America. But in May of last year, this serotype sickened 8 people in British Columbia, causing illnesses that were unusual enough to prompt a special investigation into the outbreak.
The resulting study was published in the September 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
While researchers were unable to pinpoint the source of the bacteria, they say that the unique characteristics of the outbreak — including an abnormally long incubation period and a high percentage of urinary tract infections — offer valuable lessons for future Salmonella investigations.
During this outbreak, victims began experiencing symptoms 5 -7 days after being exposed to the bacteria, marking an unusually long incubation period for Salmonella, which normally causes illness between 6 and 72 hours after ingestion. This fact suggests that investigators may need to reach farther back in time when looking for common exposures among victims, says the study.
Health officials currently question Salmonella patients about what they ate in the 3 days prior to illness, say the authors. But this outbreak suggests that this time frame may need to be expanded, they note.
In this case, that 3-day window didn’t include the event that turned out to be the likely source of infection for the majority of the B.C. patients — a wedding attended by 7 of the 8 victims.
“The 3-day time frame for exposures was not sufficient to identify appropriate exposures,” explained Marsha Taylor, epidemiologist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and lead author of the report. “Expanding the period for collecting exposure information about Salmonella spp. infections and the reporting and investigation of persons with Salmonella spp. identified in urine to public health authorities might be needed to help identify and solve outbreaks,” Taylor said in an interview with Food Safety News.
The wedding was only identified as a potential common event because a victim happened to mention it in an interview, explains Taylor.
Officials are not sure why the time between exposure and onset – which averaged 5.5 days – was so long in this outbreak. While it may have been a result of the type of Salmonella involved, says the study, it may also have depended on the amount of bacteria ingested or on a variation in the temperature of the food, which was prepared a week in advance and served cold.
“The specific factor that led to it — whether it’s the stain, the host or the exposure — that piece isn’t that clear,” says Taylor.
High Number of Urinary Tract Infections
The second unusual characteristic of this outbreak was the high percentage of UTIs among victims, say the authors. Typically, 1 percent of non-typhoidal Salmonella infections are diagnosed through urine. However, 3 of the 8 outbreak victims (40 percent) were diagnosed through urine analysis after presenting with UTIs, according to the study.
“It was unusual to see that high a proportion of urine diagnosis within a cluster,” says Taylor.
In light of these findings, “the reporting and investigation of persons with Salmonella spp. identified in urine to public health authorities might be needed to help identify and solve outbreaks,” says the study.
Interestingly, while it’s unusual for Salmonella patients to experience gastrointestinal symptoms in addition to a UTI, 2 of the 3 victims who contracted UTIs in this outbreak experienced GI symptoms before the onset of the UTI.
U.S. Was Likely Source of Bacteria
While investigators never identified the reservoir of the Salmonella Agbeni that caused this outbreak, they say the bacteria likely originated in the United States.
One of the 7 victims who attended the wedding in B.C. had traveled to the province from the U.S. and had helped prepare food served at the event, according to the EID report. That person was also the first to experience symptoms, suggesting that he or she had been carrying the infection before spreading it to others.
The theory that the bacteria originated in the U.S. was bolstered by the fact that the one outbreak victim from B.C. who did not attend the wedding had recently traveled to the United States, and had visited the jurisdiction where the wedding attendee from the U.S. lived.
Furthermore, 5 illnesses of Salmonella Agbeni were reported among residents of that U.S. jurisdiction during the same time period, says the report.
The source of the bacteria in that U.S. jurisdiction was never located, says Taylor.
Before this outbreak, Salmonella Agbeni had rarely been recorded as a source of illness in Canada. Between 2000 and 2010, only 8 illnesses were reported in the country. None of these were in British Columbia. In the United States, 180 cases of Salmonella serotype Agbeni were reported between 1999 and 2009, according to surveillance data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© Food Safety News

 

CFIA Health Hazard Alert: Contaminated Tanimura & Antle Romaine Lettuce

Certain TANIMURA & ANTLE brand ROMAINE LETTUCE may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

Product Photos

OTTAWA, August 17, 2012 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce described below because this product may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

The affected product, Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce, produce of USA, is sold in a plastic package containing 1 head of lettuce. The package bears the UPC0 27918�ى The affected product was sold at retail from August 8, 2012 through August 17, 2012.

This product has been distributed in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut and Yukon.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria my cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

The Canadian distributors are voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 /TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Click on image for larger view

Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce
Tanimura & Antle brand
Romaine Lettuce
Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce - UPC
Tanimura & Antle brand
Romaine Lettuce – UPC
Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce
Tanimura & Antle brand
Romaine Lettuce

Health Canada Warns Against Consuming Raw Milk

 

 

OTTAWA – Health Canada would like to remind Canadians not to drink raw (unpasteurized) milk because it could contain bacteria that could make you seriously ill.

Historically, unpasteurized milk has been linked to many serious diseases. Several kinds of bacteria that can be found in raw milk, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks. These bacteria can cause serious health conditions, ranging from fever, vomiting and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death. Children, pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk.

Due to these health concerns, the Food and Drug Regulations require that all milk sold in Canada be pasteurized. Pasteurization kills the organisms that may cause disease while keeping the nutritional properties of milk intact. Raw milk has not been treated to make it safe. It has also not been fortified with vitamin D.

Pasteurized milk is an important food and contains many nutrients that are essential for good health, including protein, calcium and vitamin D. The number of foodborne illness outbreaks from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

The sale of raw milk (except for further manufacturing) is prohibited under the Food and Drugs Act. Raw milk cheese is allowed for sale and considered safe because its manufacturing process helps to eliminate many pathogens that may be present in raw milk.

Although raw milk is not allowed to be sold in Canada, people have become ill after drinking it when visiting farms. While pasteurized milk is now the standard, there are some Canadians who continue to prefer raw milk because they believe it is healthier. However, it is important to note that any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk.

 

Something you ate? Episode 1: Outbreak response – The big picture

 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has developed a series of four videos that help explain how we respond to large outbreaks of foodborne illness, or food poisoning as it is sometimes called. The first video provides an overview, the second and third explain how our investigation into the source of the illnesses unfolds and the fourth provides advice on how to reduce your risk of this type of illness. We’re posting the videos individually over the coming weeks.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fs-sa/videos/video01-eng.php

 

EXPANDED CFIA HEALTH HAZARD ALERT: Alkanater Tahina

Certain ALKANATER BRAND TAHINA may containSALMONELLA BACTERIA

Product photos

Related alerts: 2012-07-03 | 2012-06-26

OTTAWA, July 3, 2012 – The public warning issued on June 26, 2012 has been expanded to include additional codes.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Phoenicia Group Inc. are warning the public not to consume Alkanater brand Tahina, described below, because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The affected product, Alkanater brand Tahina, is sold in 454 g containers bearing theUPC 6 92551 00002 0, lot code TT3N-260112 and codes PRO: 26/01/2012 and EXP: 25/01/2014.

This product has been distributed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia Ontario and Quebec and may have been distributed nationally.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

The importer, Phoenicia Group Inc.St-Laurent, Quebec, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Phoenicia Group Inc. at 514-389-6363;

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on Salmonella, visit the Food Facts web page at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/cause/salmonellae.shtml

For information on all food recalls, visit the CFIA‘s Food Recall Report at: http://active.inspection.gc.ca/eng/corp/recarapp_dbe.asp.

Product photos

Alkanater brand Tahina
Alkanater brand Tahina

Alkanater brand Tahina
Alkanater brand Tahina

Alkanater brand Tahina
Alkanater brand Tahina

Alkanater brand Tahina
Alkanater brand Tahina

CFIA HEALTH HAZARD ALERT: Alkanater Brand Tahina

OTTAWA, June 26, 2012 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Phoenicia Group Inc. are warning the public not to consume Alkanater brand Tahina, described below, because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The affected product, Alkanater brand Tahina, is sold in 454 g containers bearing theUPC 6 92551 00002 0, lot code TT3N-280312 and codes PRO: 28/03/2012 AND EXP: 28/03/2014.

This product has been distributed in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick and may have been distributed nationally.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

The importer, Phoenicia Group Inc., St-Laurent, Quebec, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Phoenicia Group Inc. at 514-389-6363;

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).