Breaded chicken warning issued following hundreds of illnesses
'People might falsely assume that they are cooked'
The Public Health Agency of Canada wants people eating frozen breaded chicken products to take care cooking them.
There have been more than 400 confirmed cases of illness connected to 13 outbreaks of salmonella in Canada over the last year and a half from these products. One of those cases was in P.E.I., in August 2017.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer with the agency, said there does appear to be some confusion over the products.
"People might falsely assume that they are cooked and therefore not carefully handle them and cook them in the same way," said Njoo.
"The challenge, I think, is that many people may not be aware, when you see a product, a frozen, breaded chicken product, that they are essentially the same as a raw chicken breast, because they're breaded, the colour is maybe darker, slightly brown, and even the meat even on the inside might appear whiter rather than pink as raw chicken."
Njoo said the chicken should not be microwaved because uneven heat may lead to incomplete cooking.
As of April 1 manufacturers have been given new directives by the CFIA to have no detectable levels of salmonella in their products, but Njoo still encourages people to cook these products thoroughly to be safe.
More P.E.I. news
With files from Island Morning