Health Canada is issuing a widespread recall of frozen No Name brand chicken burgers as part of a broader effort to reduce the number of salmonella-related illnesses across the country.
The specific product affected by the recall is No Name brand Chicken Burgers (1kg), with a best before date of Feb. 6, 2019. Any individual or restaurant with this product in their freezer is being told not to consume or serve the burgers.
The recall comes three months after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a press release warning of a rise in Salmonella Enteritidis infections over the past several years.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it is now dealing with an outbreak of salmonella infections linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.
There were 59 cases of salmonella-linked illness across eight provinces between March and May, the agency reported on Monday, and 10 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The majority of patients (61 per cent) are male, with an average age of 34.
“Several of the ill individuals involved in the outbreak reported having eaten No Name brand chicken burgers before their illness occurred,” said a press release.
“A food sample of No Name brand Chicken Burgers (1kg), with a best before date of February 6, 2019, tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis.”
The risk to Canadians is low, the agency added.
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“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 for these types of food products.”
Consumers are being reminded to wash their hands thoroughly after handling any raw poultry product, to clean surfaces and utensils thoroughly, not to rinse raw poultry before cooking, to follow cooking instructions carefully and to verify that the internal temperature of frozen poultry products and raw poultry pieces reaches at least 74 C (165 F).
“Whole poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 82°C (180°F),” the agency added.
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 to still be able to spread the infection to others.
Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.