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Canada’s Salmonella investigation sparks chicken nugget recall

foodsafetynews.com, March 28, 2018

Erie Meat Products Ltd. is recalling Harvest Creek brand Chicken Nuggets from the marketplace because of possible Salmonella contamination, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).The recall stems from the ongoing investigation by CFIA and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced on March 15 into the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak in four Canadian provinces linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products. CFIA warned consumers not to consume the newly recalled product, which the agency described as:


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Brand Name
Common Name
Size
Code(s) on Product
UPC

Harvest Creek
Chicken Nuggets – Uncooked Breaded Cutlettes
2 x 1 kg
BB\MA 18-OC-11
8 29810 93350 2


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The recalled product was distributed in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and possibly in Quebec.

CFIA says the ongoing food safety investigation may soon result in the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated food recall warnings.

At the time the investigation was announced, there are 30 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness in four provinces: Alberta (2), Ontario (17), Quebec (7), and New Brunswick (4). Four individuals were hospitalized. Individuals became sick between May 2017 and February 2018. The average age of the infected is 32 years, with ages ranging from 1 to 73 years. The majority of illnesses (57 percent) involved males.

Based on the investigation findings, exposure to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products was identified as a source of illness. Several individuals who became ill reported consuming a mix of poultry and frozen raw breaded chicken products.

Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products. Illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing these types of food products.

CFIA says the outbreak is a reminder to properly handle, cook and store poultry, including frozen breaded chicken products to avoid getting sick. Frozen raw breaded chicken products contain raw poultry and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.

Canadians are advised to follow cooking instructions carefully and verify the internal temperature after cooking before consuming these products. Frozen raw breaded chicken products and raw poultry pieces must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees C — 165 degrees F — to ensure they are safe to eat. Whole poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 82 degrees C — 180 degrees F — to kill pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.