Health officials warn of salmonella risk in frozen breaded chicken
Two cases of salmonella infection have been reported in Nova Scotia
The province's chief medical officer is warning Nova Scotians of the risks of salmonella from eating frozen breaded chicken products, regardless of what company makes them.
Two cases of salmonella infection have been reported in Nova Scotia as an outbreak associated with the products spreads across the country.
Two products have been pulled from shelves — No Name frozen chicken nuggets and unbranded chicken fries.
The nuggets were sold in 907-gram packages (UPC code 0 6038389685 0) and have an expiry date of May 15, 2019. The unbranded $10 chicken fries are sold in 1.81-kilogram bags with an expiry date of March 23, 2019.
The products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
Be careful, regardless of brand
But Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, says consumers should be careful with all frozen breaded chicken products, regardless of brand.
"Our key message to the public is that these products, some of them may be pre-cooked, some of them may not be cooked and be raw, but they all have an increased risk of having salmonella contamination," he said.
There have been nine outbreaks of salmonella enteritidis associated with frozen breaded chicken products in Canada since May 2017. Strang said the increase is due to new, more advanced, methods of detecting salmonella.
He said frozen breaded chicken products that haven't been recalled are safe to eat as long as people follow the instructions on the box and cook the food properly.
Salmonella is an intestinal infection transmitted by eating food from infected animals. Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
Children, seniors and people with chronic health issues are most at risk, said Strang.
"It's something that needs to be taken seriously," he said.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working to create stricter rules for companies that make these products in an effort to reduce the risk of salmonella, said Strang. He expects those new rules to come into effect next year.
With files from Tom Murphy