Natura Pet Products Inc. Recalls More Pet Foods

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Expanded recall: Various dry pet food products and treats manufactured by Natura Pet Products, Inc.

Starting date:
July 16, 2013
Posting date:
July 16, 2013
Type of communication:
Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:
Microbiological – Salmonella
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Product Safety, Contamination, Microbial Hazard
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-34585
Expansion of May 6, 2013 recall.

Affected products

Various dry pet food products and treats manufactured by Natura Pet Products, Inc.

Product description

This recall involves the following brands of dry pet food with an expiration date prior to June 10, 2014:

  • California Natural
  • EVO
  • HealthWise
  • Innova
  • Karma
  • EVO treats and Innova Cat treats

Additionally, the recall includes Mother Nature dry pet food with an expiration date prior to June 10, 2014.

For a complete list of the specific products affected by this recall, please see the firm’s website.

Hazard identified

A manufacturer in the United States, Natura Pet Products, Inc. has recalled several batches of its dry pet food products due to possible contamination with Salmonella.

Pets such as dogs and cats, and their food can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling pets, pet food or feces. Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

For more information on the risks of Salmonella infection, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s fact sheet.

Neither Health Canada nor Natura Pet Products, Inc. has received any reports of illnesses related to the recalled pet food products.

Number sold

Approximately 582,536 bags of recalled dry pet food and treat products have been distributed in Canada.

Time period sold

The recalled pet food products were sold prior to June 10, 2013.

Place of origin

Fremont, NE, United States of America

Companies

Manufacturer
Natura Pet Products Inc.
2779 Rademakers Way
Fremont
68025
Nebraska
UNITED STATES
Distributor
Harmony Dog Products
Halifax
Nova Scotia
CANADA
Distributor
Le Gastronome Animal Inc.
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu
Quebec
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Edmonton
Alberta
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Delta
British Columbia
CANADA
Distributor
Pet Science Ltd.
Brampton
Ontario
CANADA

California NaturalEVOHealthWiseInnovaKarmaMother Nature dry pet food

What you should do

Consumers should stop using the product and contact Natura Pet Products, Inc. for further information, product replacement or refund.

Consumers may call Natura toll-free at 1-800-224-6123 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST). Additional information on the recalled products is found at the following firm’s website.

Please note that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act prohibits recalled products from being redistributed, sold or even given away in Canada.

Related AWRs

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidenceto the Consumer. We are a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

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Small Percentage of Campylobacter in Canadian Chicken Antibiotic-Resistant

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BY JAMES ANDREWS | JUNE 27, 2013

A small percentage of Campylobacter isolated from Canadian retail chicken meat is resistant to a key antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in humans, according to a report by the Public Health Agency of Canada published in the July edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The report tracked resistance to ciprofloxacin in Campylobacter from chicken meat between 2003 and 2010 across seven Canadian provinces, finding the most notable rates of resistance in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

Among the years with available data, resistance ranged from roughly 4 percent to 29 percent in British Columbia, and 2 percent to 15 percent in Saskatchewan. Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces did not see more than a 4 percent resistance rate, other than the rate of 14 percent noted in Quebec in 2007.

The highest rate of resistance was found in British Columbia in 2009, when 22 out of 77 (29 percent) Campylobacter samples were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Saskatchewan also saw its highest rate of resistance, 7 out of 48 (15 percent), that year.

Ciprofloxacin is the most common drug used to treat Campylobacter infection in Canada, where an average of 31 in 100,000 people are sickened by the gastrointestinal bacteria each year, falling ill with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. The World Health Organization considers fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin critically important to human medicine.

Many public health professionals hypothesize that antimicrobial drug use on farm animals, including among broiler chickens, has contributed to rising levels of antibiotic resistance in some pathogens, though data on such drug use is not made available by chicken growers in Canada. The U.S. banned fluoroquinolone use on chickens in 2005, though ciprofloxacin resistance in Campylobacter in the U.S. has not seemed to drop as a result, according to the report’s authors.

According to the report, the Canadian chicken industry is working with the country’s government to create a farm surveillance program that would collect data on drug use and resistance.

Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate discourages non-therapeutic use of Category I antibiotics (including ciprofloxacin) in food-producing animals.

This report follows a study earlier this month declaring ciprofloxacin-resistant Salmonella a rare but “growing concern” in Canada, and another out of Europe and Africa that found rising levels of resistant Salmonella in North Africa and the Middle East.

© Food Safety News

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

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Imported Organic Frozen Berries Recalled

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1,200 Canadians bought berry mix linked to hep A outbreak

B.C. and Alberta residents most likely to have purchased recalled product

CBC News

Posted: Jun 10, 2013 11:32 PM ET  

Concerns grow over berries possibly linked to U.S. outbreakRelated Stories

The U.S. Centre for Disease Control said that as of Monday 87 people have been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A infections that could be linked to eating the frozen berry blend.

Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix was sold in the U.S. at Costco stores. It was also sold under the name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend at Harris Teeter stores.

The onset of reported illnesses range from March 16 to June 1, and no one has died from the infections. No illnesses linked to products sold at Harris Teeter stores have been reported.

Last week, the manufacturer, Townsend Farms, Inc., of Fairview, Ore., voluntarily recalled certain lots of its frozen berry blends.

None of the products were sold in Canada, but a number of Canadians bought the affected products at U.S. Costco stores, the PHAC said.

Strain same as 2012 B.C. outbreak

The CDC noted that the strain of hepatitis A that the infections all had in common is genotype 1B, which is rarely found in the Americas, but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.

The same genotype was identified in a 2012 hepatitis outbreak in B.C.that was thought to be related to a frozen berry blend containing pomegranate seeds from Egypt. The CDC said the recalled Townsend berry and pomegranate mix had ingredients that were sourced from the U.S., Argentina, Chile and Turkey.

Hep A symptoms

Hepatitis A symptoms include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Jaundice.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Dark urine.

The PHAC said Monday it has not received reports of recent hepatitis A diagnoses in Canada that match the strain identified in the U.S. outbreak.

It said the risk to Canadians in Canada is low at this time, but advises anyone who bought the berry mix not to eat it or to consult a doctor if it has been eaten.

Hepatitis A, a liver disease, can cause mild to severe illness lasting weeks to months. The most common hepatitis A symptoms include fatigue and jaundice, but many who are infected do not feel ill and remain unaware of their infection.

A vaccine can be used to prevent a hepatitis A infection if it is given within 14 days of being exposed to the virus, the PHAC said.

Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon, initiated a recall of certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, which was sold under two labels at U.S. Costco stores. Not pictured: Harris Teeter-branded label.Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon, initiated a recall of certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, which was sold under two labels at U.S. Costco stores. Not pictured: Harris Teeter-branded label. (FDA.gov)

ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT SALMONELLA A RARE BUT ‘GROWING CONCERN’ IN CANADA

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From the Food Safety News
BY JAMES ANDREWS | JUNE 3, 2013
Antibiotic resistance among species of Salmonella remains an extremely rare phenomenon in Canadian health, but it’s a “growing concern” worth monitoring, according to a new study led by researchers at the Public Health Agency of Canada published in the June 2013 edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The resistant strains also do not appear to be coming from food sold in Canada, but are instead brought back with Canadians who travel to Africa.Between 2003 and 2009, Canadian health agencies collected a total of 76 samples of a Salmonella serotype known as Salmonella Kentucky from people who had fallen ill and sought medical attention. Out of those samples, 23 (or 30 percent) were resistant to ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinoline antibiotic and the fifth most commonly prescribed antibiotic for humans in the United States.

Those 23 Salmonella Kentucky isolates, as it turned out, made up 66 percent of the 35 ciprofloxacin-resistant strains of Salmonella analyzed during that time period. Worth noting, however, is that health labs performed susceptibility testing on 21,426 nontyphoidal Salmonella isolates during the six-year period, meaning ciprofloxacin resistance was present in 0.16 percent of samples.

On a positive note, no ciprofloxacin-resistant strains have been found in Canadian retail meat samples, and no cases of ciprofloxacin-resistant Salmonella infections have yet been reported in the U.S.

Ciprofloxacin resistance in Salmonella does not touch on the issue of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal feed, either, as veterinary fluoroquinolines are only legally prescribed to treat respiratory infections in cattle and swine. The study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Mulvey, told Food Safety News that his agency has seen no evidence that ciprofloxacins are being used for non-therapeutic purposes in agriculture animals.

So, where are these resistant cases coming from?

Of the 23 cases of resistant Salmonella infection monitored, researchers were able to track down the travel histories of 11 patients. Each patient, as it turned out, had traveled to an African country within a week of developing symptoms.

Similar ciprofloxacin-resistant cases have cropped up across Europe after travel to countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Libya.

The Canadian study did not look into the use of ciprofloxacins in African agriculture.

Many of the ciprofloxacin-resistant strains were also resistant to other classes of antibiotics, further complicating treatment options, Mulvey said.

Though the issue of ciprofloxacin-resistant Salmonella appears to be more of an African problem for the time being, Canada has had experience with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella getting into food in the past.

In 2003, Quebec began seeing a resistance to cephalosporin develop in strains of Salmonella Heidelberg in humans linked to poultry and retail chicken meat. The Quebec broiler industry decided to voluntarily cease use of cephalosporins on chickens in 2005, which led to a “dramatic decrease” in rates of resistance, the study said.

“Once bacteria become resistant, the drugs used to cure the bacterial infection no longer work or are less effective,” Mulvey said. “In addition, the lack of new antibiotics in development is of serious concern.”

© Food Safety News

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidenceto the Consumer. We are a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

Contact us to achieve Certification from HACCPCanada, today!

 

Expanded recall: Dry pet food manufactured by Natura Pet Products, Inc.

HACCPCanada Certification - Be Informed

 

Starting date:
May 6, 2013
Posting date:
May 6, 2013
Type of communication:
Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:
Microbiological – Salmonella
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Product Safety
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-28999

Expansion of April 15, 2013 recall.

Affected products

Dry Pet Food Manufactured by Natura Pet Products, Inc.

Product description

This recall involves the following brands of dry pet food with an expiration date prior to and including March 24, 2014:

  • Innova
  • EVO
  • California Natural
  • HealthWise
  • Karma

Additionally, the recall includes EVO treats and Innova Cat treats with an expiration date prior to and including March 24, 2014.

For a complete list of the specific products affected by this recall, please see the firm’s website.

Hazard identified

A manufacturer in the United States, Natura Pet Products, Inc. has recalled several batches of its dry pet food products due to possible contamination with Salmonella.

Pets such as dogs and cats, and their food can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling their pets or their pet’s food or feces.

Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

For more information on the risks of Salmonella infection, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada‘s fact sheet, Salmonella and pets.

Neither Health Canada nor Natura Pet Products, Inc. has received any reports of illnesses related to the recalled pet food products.

Number sold

Approximately 442,960 bags of recalled dry pet food products have been distributed in Canada.

Time period sold

The recall pet food products were sold prior to March 24, 2013.

Place of origin

Fremont, Nebraska, United States of America

Companies

Manufacturer
Natura Pet Products Inc.
2779 Rademakers Way
Fremont
68025
Nebraska
UNITED STATES
Distributor
Le Gastronome Animal Inc.
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu
Quebec
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Edmonton
Alberta
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Delta
British Columbia
CANADA
Distributor
Pet Science Ltd
Brampton
Ontario
CANADA
Distributor
Harmony Dog Products
Halifax
Nova Scotia
CANADA

Images (select thumbnail to enlarge)

Innova
EVO
California Natural
HealthWise
Karma

 

What you should do

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and discard it and contact Natura Pet Products, Inc. for further information or a product replacement or refund.

Consumers can call Natura toll-free at 1-800-224-6123, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST. Additional information on the recalled products can be found at the firm’s website.

Dry pet food manufactured by Natura Pet Products Inc.

2013-04-15 | Consumer products, Food Recall

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Third-Party Auditor and a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

Contact us to achieve Certification from HACCPCanada, today!

 

Natura Pet Products Inc. Recalls Pet Foods Distributed In Canada

HACCPCanada Certification - Be Informed

 

Dry pet food manufactured by Natura Pet Products Inc.

Starting date:
April 15, 2013
Posting date:
April 15, 2013
Type of communication:
Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:
Microbiological – Salmonella
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Product Safety, Contamination
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-26765

Affected products

Various dry pet food products manufactured by Natura Pet Products Inc.

Product description

This recall involves the following brands of dry pet food with expiration date 01/07/2013 through 14/03/2014:

  • Innova
  • EVO
  • California Natural
  • HealthWise
  • Karma

For a complete list of the specific products affected by this recall please see the following website.

Hazard identified

A manufacturer in the United States, Natura Pet Products Inc. has recalled several batches of its dry pet food due to possible contamination with Salmonella.

Pets such as dogs and cats, and their food can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling their pets or their pet’s food or feces. Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

For more information on the risks of Salmonella infection, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s fact sheet here.

Neither Health Canada nor Natura Pet Products Inc. has received any reports of illnesses related to the recalled pet food products.

Number sold

Approximately 46,405 bags of recalled dry pet food products have been distributed in Canada.

Time period sold

December 17, 2012 to March 24, 2013.

Place of origin

Fremont, Nebraska, United States of America

Companies

Manufacturer
Natura Pet Products Inc.
2779 Rademakers Way
Fremont
68025
Nebraska
UNITED STATES
Distributor
Le Gastronome Animal Inc.
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu
Quebec
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Edmonton
Alberta
CANADA
Distributor
Maddies Natural Pet Products
Delta
British Columbia
CANADA
Distributor
Pet Science Ltd
Brampton
Ontario
CANADA
Distributor
Harmony Dog Products
Halifax
Nova Scotia
CANADA
California Natural
Evo Red Meat Formula
HealthWise
Innova Cat Food

What you should do

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and discard it and contact Natura Pet Products Inc. for further information or a product replacement or refund.

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Third-Party Auditor and a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

Contact us to achieve Certification from HACCPCanada, today!

CFIA & PHAC Merge Forces

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Further to an announcement made in April 2012, effective April 1, 2013, some programs of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Office of Biohazard Containment and Safety (OBCS) and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Pathogen Regulation Directorate (PRD) will be merged. Import permits for terrestrial animal and human pathogens, as well as the certification of laboratories handling these types of pathogens will be offered through a single office located within the PRD at PHAC.

The OBCS at the CFIA will continue to issue permits for:

pathogens causing foreign animal and emerging animal diseases (i.e., pathogens that are not established in or indigenous to Canada);
animals, animal products and by-products, tissue, sera and blood that are infected with animal pathogens;
aquatic animal pathogens; and
plant pathogens.

Additional information on certification and compliance verification for containment facilities, and other information related to the merger, is contained in the attached FAQ.
These changes will also be reflected in the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines, which will harmonize CFIA and PHAC requirements for biocontainment laboratories handling animal and zoonotic pathogens, as well as pathogens that affect humans only.

The PRD and the OBCS have been working together to achieve program efficiencies for several years. This merger will significantly reduce duplicate regulatory requirements and administrative burden for controlling animal and human pathogens.   This change will enhance the Government of Canada’s capacity and capability to oversee pathogen-related work, without increasing public or animal health risks. The containment regulations and measures designed to protect Canadians and animals from these pathogens and the diseases they cause will continue to be enforced.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Tianna MacInnes National Manager, Office of Biohazard Containment and Safety, CFIA 613-773-5768tianna.macinnes@inspection.gc.ca   or

Mary Louise Graham Director, Office of Biosafety and Biocontainment Operations, PHAC 613-957-1775Mary.Louise.Graham@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Yours sincerely,

William (Bill) Anderson, Ph.D.A/Associate Vice-President
Science Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale RoadOttawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9
Telephone: 613 773-5851
William.Anderson@inspection.gc.ca

Sandra Fry, Director General
Pathogen Regulation Directorate
Emergency Management and Corporate Affairs
Public Health Agency of Canada
100 Colonnade Road Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Telephone  613 960-6637
Sandra.Fry@phac-aspc.gc.ca

HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Third-Party Auditor and a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

Contact us to achieve Certification from HACCPCanada, today!

 

E. Coli Outbreak Reaches 8 Confirmed Cases

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HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Third-Party Auditor and a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

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Public Health Notice: E. coli O157:H7 illness related to frozen beef burgers

Updated: 27 February 2013

Why you should take note

Since our last update, an additional case of E. coli O157:H7 illness in Saskatchewan has been confirmed as part of this outbreak investigation. This brings the total number of cases to eight: four in Ontario, two in Alberta, one in Manitoba and one in Saskatchewan. These individuals became ill between late December and mid-February. All cases have recovered or are recovering.

The most recent case is linked to recalled Gourmet Meat Shoppe Big and Juicy frozen beef burgers.

The risk to Canadians remains low because all products found to be contaminated were recalled from store shelves. It remains important that Canadians not eat any of the recalled beef products. Check your freezer and if you have recalled products in your home, return them to the store or throw them out.

Products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 can pose a serious public health risk. We want to remind Canadians to take precautions to avoid food-borne illness, for example:

  • Cook meat to a safe internal temperature—use a food thermometer to be sure;
    • Thick burgers like the ones recalled need to be cooked longer than regular sized ones to be sure they’re safe.
  • Wash your hands before and after cooking;
  • Keep knives, counters and cutting boards clean;
  • Keep raw meats separate from other foods when you store them; and
  • Refrigerate or freeze left-overs promptly.

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.

Additional cases of illness may be identified and linked to this outbreak in the future.

Status

Investigations into outbreaks of food-borne illness can be complex. Since early December 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 found in the recalled frozen beef burgers. More information about the epidemiological investigation is also available.

Province / Territory Total cases
  Alberta 2
  Ontario 4
  Manitoba 1
  Saskatchewan 1
  Total 8

Over the course of the investigation, an additional reported case of E. coli O157:H7 illness was found to have the same strain of E. coli as one found in a recalled product. However, the case could not be definitively linked to the outbreak associated with this investigation because there was not enough food history information available to connect the individual with the contaminated product. This individual died in early December as a result of the illness.

More information about products that have been recalledand how that aspect of the investigation has unfolded, is available on the CFIA website.

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

 

 

E. coli In Frozen Burger Patties Now At 7 Confirmed Cases

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HACCPCanada advocates and mandates HACCP System Certification; with an emphasis on providing Food Safety Confidence to the Consumer. We are a Third-Party Auditor and a Certifying Body (an independent & impartial national organization which evaluates and verifies HACCP systems) and have succeeded in furnishing an economical, effective and expedient Certification Process for the Retail Food Supply Chain including Non-Registered Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Restaurants and Retail Food Outlets.

Contact us to achieve Certification from HACCPCanada, today!

Public Health Notice: E. coli O157:H7 illness related to frozen beef burgers

Public Health Agency of Canada

Updated: 22 February 2013

Why you should take note

Through ongoing monitoring and surveillance activities, two additional cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness have been confirmed as part of this outbreak investigation; one in Manitoba and one in Ontario. This brings the total number of cases to seven: four in Ontario, two in Alberta and one in Manitoba. These individuals became ill between late December and late January. All cases have recovered or are recovering.

The two most recent cases are linked to recalled Gourmet Meat Shoppe Big and Juicy frozen beef burgers.

The risk to Canadians remains low because all products found to be contaminated were recalled from store shelves. It remains important that Canadians not eat any of the recalled beef products. Check your freezer and if you have recalled products in your home, return them to the store or throw them out.

Products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 can pose a serious public health risk. We want to remind Canadians to take precautions to avoid food-borne illness, for example:

  • Cook meat to a safe internal temperature—use a food thermometer to be sure;
    • Thick burgers like the ones recalled need to be cooked longer than regular sized ones to be sure they’re safe.
  • Wash your hands before and after cooking;
  • Keep knives, counters and cutting boards clean;
  • Keep raw meats separate from other foods when you store them; and
  • Refrigerate or freeze left-overs promptly.

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.

Additional cases of illness may be identified and linked to this outbreak in the future.

Status

Investigations into outbreaks of food-borne illness can be complex. Since early December 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 found in the recalled frozen beef burgers. More information about the epidemiological investigation is also available.

Province / Territory Total cases
  Alberta 2
  Ontario 4
  Manitoba 1
  Total 7

Over the course of the investigation, an additional reported case of E. coli O157:H7 illness was found to have the same strain of E. coli as one found in a recalled product. However, the case could not be definitively linked to the outbreak associated with this investigation because there was not enough food history information available to connect the individual with the contaminated product. This individual died in early December as a result of the illness.

More information about products that have been recalled and how that aspect of the investigation has unfolded, is available on the CFIA website.

E. coli O157 food-borne 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 food-borne 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 food-borne 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 products, however, should not be consumed and should be thrown away.

 

Public Health Agency of Canada Declares End to Lettuce Related E. coli Outbreak

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

Updated: 7 February 2013

Why you should take note

This outbreak appears to be over.

In total, 30 cases of illness were reported in the Maritimes and Ontario as part of this outbreak. The last reported case became ill on January 9, 2013; no new cases of illness have been reported since.

The investigation indicated that the most probable cause of the E. coli O157:H7 illnesses was shredded lettuce distributed by FreshPoint Inc. primarily to some KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants.

Lettuce has a short shelf life, therefore contaminated products are unlikely to still be available and the risk to the Canadians remains low.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) worked with FreshPoint Inc. to recallExternal Link any affected products.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with provincial/territorial partners, will continue to monitor for and investigate any new cases of E.coli that may be related to this outbreak as part of its routine surveillance activities.

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 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.