As if one food poisoning outbreak wasn't enough, Health Canada is warning of a second dangerous salmonella outbreak in Canada. The latest update shows that 39 more illnesses have been reported, some from just the past couple of weeks, bring the total for this outbreak up to 72 cases.
Of those cases, the majority of them are in Alberta, where there have been 24 illnesses, followed by British Columbia, with 20 illness. Manitoba has seen 10 cases while Saskatchewan and Ontario have each seen six. New Brunswick, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories have each had one case. Quebec and the other Atlantic provinces have not had any reported illnesses tied to this outbreak. That being said the government also reveals that this latest outbreak is still ongoing, meaning that illnesses are still being reported to them and that Canadians are still at risk.
While this particular outbreak is most likely linked to raw chicken and raw turkey products, but they do not specifically know of any brands or types responsible. This is unlike the other ongoing salmonella outbreak in Canada. In that situation, they have identified a specific brand of frozen chicken nuggets and issued a product recall.
However, that first outbreak has also been a lot more detrimental. So far, in there have been 529 reported cases of salmonella illness tied to that first outbreak. This latest warning brings the total number of illnesses from both outbreaks in Canada up to 601.
The case count in this second ongoing outbreak may be lower, but that doesn't make it less concerning. In fact, the lack of product recall makes it even worse.
Since this particular outbreak hasn't been narrowed done to any specific products, Canadians are unable to avoid any foods in particular, unless they cut out all chicken and turkey entirely, just in case.
While Canadians can do very little to avoid this salmonella outbreak when it comes to buying food, the government warns people to be very careful when handling and preparing meat.
Some of their tips include washing your hands before and after you touch raw turkey and raw chicken, cook turkey and chicken products to a safe internal temperature (74-82°C depending on the product), use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat, and clean everything thoroughly.
Anyone who is exposed to raw chicken or turkey could get salmonella, but people who are infants, elderly, or have compromised immune systems are in the greatest amount of danger.
If you do get sick, symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping. These typically appear after 6-72 hours and last from four to seven days.
*Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.