Salmonella outbreak sees 63 cases in 6 Canadian provinces – but no one knows how it started yet


There is an outbreak of salmonella that has seen 63 cases in six Canadian provinces – and no one knows how it started.

This is according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which warned on Friday of cases that hit all the provinces west of the Atlantic region.

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The cases of salmonella broke like this:

  • British Columbia – 23
  • Alberta – 10
  • Saskatchewan – 8
  • Manitoba – 10
  • Ontario – 10
  • Quebec – 2

People became ill between November 2018 and March this year, the agency added. The outbreak sent 18 people to the hospital and two people died.

However, it is unclear whether salmonella was a contributing cause in these deaths.

People who got sick in the midst of the outbreak were between one and 87, and most cases (57 percent) involved women.

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More cases can be reported because up to four to five weeks may pass between the time a person becomes ill and the disease is reported to public health officials, the agency said.

However, "the source of the outbreak has not been identified and the investigation is ongoing," he added.

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Amid the outbreak, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation – if it finds that food has been contaminated, they will take "necessary steps" to protect people, which could include food recalls .

There are currently no food recall warnings associated with the outbreak.

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To avoid salmonella diseases, the Public Health Agency of Canada has several tips.

The main practice to follow is to ensure that you handle food safely every day.

This may include washing hands with soap and lukewarm water for at least 20 seconds before touching and preparing food, and not eating raw or undercooked foods such as poultry, fish, meat, mollusks, and egg products.

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The agency recommended that raw foods, such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs, be cooked to a "safe internal temperature" to ensure that it is safe to consume.

The use of raw foods in microwaves is not recommended because, internally, they could be heated unevenly, he added.

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