A brand of Italian sausage is linked to an outbreak of salmonella infections in Ontario and Quebec, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to Filicetti brand Italian Style mild, dry, cured sausage has been identified as a source of the outbreak,” the PHAC said in a statement.
As of Wednesday, 12 confirmed cases of salmonella Litchfield illness have been reported: 10 in Ontario and two in Quebec. The people became sick between May and September. One individual was hospitalized.
On Oct. 16, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall for various ready-to-eat dry sausage products that tested positive for salmonella, including Filicetti brand Italian Style mild, dry, cured sausage. Since then, more affected products have been added to the recall.
Canadians are advised not to eat the affected food, including the Filicetti brand and others that have been recalled.
The recalled products were distributed in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Infants, children and seniors are most at risk of becoming sick of salmonella illness, along with those who have compromised immune systems.
Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Health officials say it is possible that the number affected by this outbreak could be higher because there can be a delay from the time a person becomes ill to the time the illness is reported to public health officials. For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between four to five weeks.
People may also carry the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms but spread the bacteria to others.
Health officials also advise:
- Check to see if you have any recalled ready-to-eat dry cured sausage products in your home. If you do, do not eat them.
- Throw recalled products out immediately and properly wash and sanitize any containers that were used to store these products before using them again.
- If you have any ready-to-eat dry cured sausage products without the original packaging and are unsure if these products are included in this advice, throw them out just to be safe.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds immediately following contact with any of the recalled products.
- Do not prepare food for other people if you think you are sick with a salmonella infection or suffering from any other contagious illness causing diarrhea.
Health officials say salmonella Litchfield is a rare strain not commonly seen in Canada.