TORONTO – Federal officials are investigating whether prepackaged caramel apples linked to a Listeria outbreak in the U.S. have made their way into Canada.
There are two cases of Listeriosis, one in both Ontario and Manitoba, with the same genetic fingerprint seen in the U.S. investigation, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said in a statement Tuesday.
PHAC says investigators are working to determine if the two patients ate prepackaged caramel apples imported from the U.S. The current health status of the two individuals is not known.
Officials say the risk to Canadians is low, but advised against eating commercially-produced, prepackaged caramel apples imported from the U.S. until further notice.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, as of Monday, 29 people are reported to have gotten sick as a result of the Listeria outbreak. Five deaths have been attributed to the outbreak.
Canadian officials are recommending anyone with a prepackaged candy apple product to dispose of it immediately, even if they are unsure whether or not it’s a caramel apple product from the U.S. Officials are also instructing people to use plastic bags when throwing out caramel apples to prevent animals from consuming the product from the garbage.
Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness, with severe symptoms that may include headache, poor coordination and seizures. In mild forms of the disease, symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea.
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