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Public Health Notice - Outbreak of Salmonella infections under investigation

March 4, 2016 - Final Update

This is the final update related to this outbreak as the investigation is coming to a close.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada collaborated with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections in nine provinces. Epidemiologic and laboratory investigations conducted by local, provincial, and federal officials indicated that exposure to fresh, raw chicken was the likely source of this outbreak. Given that the reported number of Salmonella Infantis cases has returned to the expected number for this time of year, the outbreak investigation coordinating committee has been deactivated and the investigation is coming to a close.

The risk to Canadians is low. Although the outbreak appears to be over the Agency and its partners would like to emphasize to consumers the continued importance of properly handling, repackaging, and cooking poultry products to avoid getting sick.

Salmonella is commonly found in raw or undercooked poultry. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat or improperly handle or cook contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Investigation Summary

Overall, there were a total of 110 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in nine provinces: British Columbia (9), Alberta (13), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (63), Quebec (15) Nova Scotia (3), Prince Edward Island (2) and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between March 2015 and January 2016. The majority of cases (58%) are female, with an average age of 41 years. Twenty-one people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

What you should do to protect your health

You can avoid getting sick if you take precautions when you handle, repackage, and cook any poultry products. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Review and follow the safety tips below to prevent illnesses.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer. Raw poultry pieces should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).
  • Eggs and egg-based foods should be fully cooked to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, repackaging, cooking and serving foods.
  • Never rinse poultry before using it because the bacteria can spread everywhere the water splashes, creating more of a safety hazard.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions of any frozen raw poultry products, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not cook food for other people.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience severe symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada leads human health investigations during outbreaks and is in regular contact with its federal, provincial and territorial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will update Canadians if new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

December 24, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include seven additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak, bringing the total to 98 cases. This update is to remind Canadians to follow proper food safety practices when handling, repackaging and cooking poultry products, to avoid getting sick.

Why you should take note

The risk to Canadians is low, but the Public Health Agency of Canada and its partners would like to emphasize to consumers the importance of properly handling, repackaging, and cooking poultry products to avoid getting sick.

Information provided by individuals who became sick indicates that some illnesses may have been caused by improperly handling and repackaging raw poultry products. Other individuals who were sick reported consuming various brands and types of chicken. A sample of raw chicken taken from the home of an individual who was sick has tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella Infantis which suggests raw chicken is the likely source of the outbreak.

Salmonella is commonly found in raw or undercooked poultry. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat or improperly handle or cook contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

What you should do to protect your health

You can avoid getting sick if you take precautions when you handle, repackage, and cook any poultry products. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Review and follow the safety tips below to prevent illnesses.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer. Raw poultry pieces should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).
  • Eggs and egg-based foods should be fully cooked to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, repackaging, cooking and serving foods.
  • Never rinse poultry before using it because the bacteria can spread everywhere the water splashes, creating more of a safety hazard.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not cook food for other people.

Investigation Summary

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to collaborate with federal and provincial public health partners to monitor an outbreak of Salmonella infections. Currently, there are 98 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in nine provinces: British Columbia (7), Alberta (12), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (57), Quebec (14) Nova Scotia (2), Prince Edward Island (1) and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between March 15 and December 12, 2015. The majority of cases (60%) are female, with an average age of 40 years. Sixteen people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience severe symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians if new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

December 18, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include 9 additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in nine provinces. To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but poultry products are food items of interest in the ongoing investigation. Further evidence in the investigation is needed to determine the source in this outbreak.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if food is cooked thoroughly and safe food handling, repackaging, and preparation practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 91 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in nine provinces: British Columbia (6), Alberta (11), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (53), Quebec (13) Nova Scotia (2), Prince Edward Island (1) and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between March 15 and November 30, 2015. The majority of cases (60%) are female, with an average age of 40 years. Sixteen people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but poultry products are food items of interest in the ongoing investigation. Further evidence in the investigation is needed to determine the source in this outbreak. Canadians will continue to be updated if new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella is commonly found in raw or undercooked poultry (including eggs), unpasteurized dairy products, fruits, vegetables, herbs and processed foods. Illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing and repacking these types of products. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer. Raw poultry pieces should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).
  • Eggs and egg-based foods should be fully cooked to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Never rinse poultry before using it because the bacteria can spread everywhere the water splashes, creating more of a safety hazard.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience severe symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

December 8, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include 23 additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in nine provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 82 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in nine provinces: British Columbia (6), Alberta (11), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (46), Quebec (11) Nova Scotia (2), Prince Edward Island (1) and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between March 15 and November 19, 2015. The majority of cases (62%) are female, with an average age of 40 years. Fourteen people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and Canadians will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella can be passed on from various sources including contaminated food, pets, and other environmental sources. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Salmonella illness can be avoided if precautions are taken. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Consume refrigerated leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces (for example, after changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog).
  • Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling pet treats, pet food and pet toys, or after playing with or cleaning up after your pet.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

December 1, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include 8 additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in eight provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 59 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (10), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (33), Quebec (7) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between March 15 and November 15, 2015. The majority of cases (63%) are female, with an average age of 39 years. Eleven people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and Canadians will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella can be passed on from various sources including contaminated food, pets, and other environmental sources. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Salmonella illness can be avoided if precautions are taken. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Consume refrigerated leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces (for example, after changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog).
  • Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling pet treats, pet food and pet toys, or after playing with or cleaning up after your pet.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

November 13, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include 6 additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in eight provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 51 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (9), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (26), Quebec (7) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 12 and November 4, 2015. The majority of cases (57%) are female, with an average age of 40 years. Ten people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and Canadians will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella can be passed on from various sources including contaminated food, pets, and other environmental sources. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Salmonella illness can be avoided if precautions are taken. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Consume refrigerated leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces (for example, after changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog).
  • Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling pet treats, pet food and pet toys, or after playing with or cleaning up after your pet.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

October 30, 2015 - Update

This notice has been updated to include 5 additional cases of Salmonella Infantis related to this outbreak.

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis in eight provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 45 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (9), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (20), Quebec (7) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 12 and October 8, 2015. The majority of cases (60%) are female, with an average age of 40 years. Eight people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and Canadians will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella can be passed on from various sources including contaminated food, pets, and other environmental sources. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Salmonella illness can be avoided if precautions are taken. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperatureExternal Link that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Consume refrigerated leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces (for example, after changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog).
  • Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling pet treats, pet food and pet toys, or after playing with or cleaning up after your pet.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983

October 15, 2015 - Original Notice

Why you should take note

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis in eight provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

The risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most-often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed.

Investigation Summary

Currently, there are 34 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (6), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (16), Quebec (3) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 12 and September 20, 2015. The majority of cases (62%) are female, with an average age of 41 years. Eight people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.

To date, the source of this investigation has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and Canadians will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness, and can get sick more easily than others.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is 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.

What you should do to protect your health

Salmonella can be passed on from various sources including contaminated food, pets, and other environmental sources. Foods contaminated with Salmonella look, smell and taste normal. Salmonella illness can be avoided if precautions are taken. Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling all types of food products.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperatureExternal Link that has been checked using a digital thermometer.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Always read and follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat, poultry and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Consume refrigerated leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces (for example, after changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog).
  • Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling pet treats, pet food and pet toys, or after playing with or cleaning up after your pet.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. It is possible for some people to become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show symptoms. Even though you don't show symptoms, it is still possible to carry the bacteria and spread the infection to others. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

What the Government of Canada is doing

The Government of Canada is committed to food safety.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the human health investigation of this outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address the outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine if the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.

Additional information

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
613-957-2983