ARCHIVED - Public Health Notice: Protect yourself from Salmonella illness


Why you should take note

A food safety investigation by federal and provincial health authorities and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has led to a recall of a beef burger mix produced by Intercity Packers Ltd. due to possible contamination with Salmonella.

The product has been distributed to public and commercial food establishments in Ontario and Newfoundland. It may also have been distributed to grocery stores in Newfoundland.

To date, there have been more than 50 illnesses in Ontario associated with eating the product. Most of those illnesses have been linked to a local outbreak involving a caterer in Ottawa, and they took place in March. Federal and provincial public health authorities and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continue to investigate other potential illnesses and affected product.

What you should do

Newfoundland consumers are advised to check with the store where they bought beef to find out if they have affected products.

If you have the product, do not eat it. Secure it in a plastic bag and throw it out. Then wash your hands thoroughly in warm soapy water.

Everyone can protect themselves against Salmonella infections by taking proper precautions when handling and preparing foods.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection

Salmonella infections, known as salmonellosis, are generally caused by eating contaminated food or water, or coming into direct contact with someone who is sick. Pets such as dogs, cats, amphibians and reptiles and their food can also carry Salmonella bacteria.

Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

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

Who is most at risk?

Anyone can become sick from salmonellosis, but seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness Most people who become ill from salmonellosis will recover fully after a few days.

It’s possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others. Take proper precautions when handling and preparing foods so that you don’t inadvertently make someone else sick, especially if you are preparing food for someone at high risk.

How to protect yourself

Do not eat any products listed in the recall.

Always take proper precautions when handling and preparing foods. Wash your hands thoroughly after feeding or handling pets.

Anyone who is or has been in close contact with someone who might be infected with Salmonella should:

  • wash their hands thoroughly and regularly
  • use separate towels for the sick
  • wash their clothes in hot water, and
  • clean bathroom taps, toilets, and doorknobs at least once a day with an antiseptic cleaner.

Generally the disease will run its course in four to seven days. Treatment for those infected with Salmonella should include drinking plenty of liquids to replace body fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting.

You may wish to check with your doctor if you believe you have a Salmonella infection and you

  • are 65 years or older
  • have a weakened immune system
  • experience severe symptoms
  • experience symptoms lasting longer than seven days.

General food safety

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

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
(613) 941-8189

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