In May 2017, Government of Canada scientists began using a new technology called “whole genome sequencing” to help identify and respond to outbreaks. Since that time, federal, provincial and territorial health and food safety partners have investigated 17 national outbreaks linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products. In total, there have been 14 food products linked to these outbreak investigations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued food recall warnings for 13 products. One product was removed from the marketplace by the retailer.
As of March 22, 2019, there have been 566 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella illness investigated as part of the illness outbreaks across the country: British Columbia (42), Alberta (84), Saskatchewan (18), Manitoba (27), Ontario (209), Quebec (115), New Brunswick (30), Nova Scotia (18), Prince Edward Island (6), Newfoundland and Labrador (12), Northwest Territories (2), Yukon (1), and Nunavut (2). There have been 95 individuals hospitalized as part of these outbreaks. Three individuals have died; however, Salmonella was not the cause of death for two of those individuals, and it was not determined whether Salmonella contributed to the cause of death for the third individual. Infections have occurred in Canadians of all ages and genders.
All active and future Salmonella outbreak investigations linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products, and related food recall warnings will be listed in the next section of the public health notice to remind Canadians of the ongoing risk associated with these types of food products.
As of March 22, 2019, there are three active national Salmonella outbreak investigations linked to raw chicken including frozen raw breaded chicken products, coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Canada.