Canadian food poisoning outbreak linked to deli meat, 4 dead
August 23, 2008
A fourth person was reported dead on Friday of listeriosis as Canadian officials continued to investigate whether they were infected with a specific strain of the bacteria that might be linked to tainted meat products.
They are among 17 confirmed cases of listeriosis across Canada, and medical officers of health were warning that more cases were likely, given that listeriosis has an average incubation period of three weeks.
After discovering the bacteria that causes listeriosis in Sure Slice roast beef and corned beef produced at the Toronto plant last week, Maple Leaf has since expanded the voluntary recall to include 23 deli meat products, including turkey, smoked meats and beef products.
These products have been distributed primarily to food service institutions such as restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, these products may also be sold at retail and deli counters.
The public is now being warned not to eat sliced turkey breast at McDonald’s, seasoned cooked roast beef at Mr. Sub sandwich shops, certain lots of Sure Slice brand roast beef and corned beef, and a variety of other products, including Schneiders smoked honey ham, corned beef, smoked meat and Bavarian meats. A complete list of all recalled meats is available online at www.inspection.gc.ca.
Listeriosis is a kind of food poisoning that can be dangerous to the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The listeria bacterium can be found in dairy, meats, fish and vegetable products and is known to multiply quickly. It can grow easily on deli meats because it is not killed by refrigeration.
The food inspection agency says food contaminated with listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled, but eating it could cause listeriosis. If you are not sure if your meat is affected by the recall, don’t eat it. Throw it out.