A warning from earlier in November concerning a Salmonella outbreak in five provinces has been updated by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The update states that five more cases of illnesses associated with this outbreak have been recorded, but did not say which parts of Canada the individuals were living in.
The initial salmonella outbreak sickened dozens of people in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec has been linked back to English cucumbers. This included 50 cases of lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella infantis illness.
While the warning had more recorded illnesses, the Public Health Agency of Canada did say they had “seen a decrease in the number of cases being reported, which indicates that the outbreak appears to be winding down.”
The public health notice will be updated with any new information regarding the source of contamination or when the investigation closes.
- 50 people in BC and Alberta sickened by Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers
- Number of E. coli cases in Canada linked to romaine lettuce jumps to 22
- Major grocery stores pull lettuce off shelves due to E. coli outbreak
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to a contaminated product, and can include fever, chills, diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and nausea.
Most people who become ill from an infection will fully recover in a few days, according to health officials, although individuals can be infectious for up to several weeks.
Infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for serious illnesses related to Salmonella infections.
It is difficult to know if a product is contaminated with Salmonella because you can’t see, smell or taste it.
To lessen the risk of Salmonella, the following food safety tips are offered by public health officials:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh produce.
- Cut away any bruised or damaged areas on fresh produce, since harmful bacteria can thrive in these areas.
- Wash fresh produce thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water, even if you plan to peel them.
- Don’t soak fresh produce in a sink full of water.
- Use a clean produce brush to scrub items that have firm surfaces like cucumbers, oranges, melons, potatoes, carrots.
- Use one cutting board for produce, and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.
- Place peeled or cut fruits and vegetables on a separate clean plate.
- Use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily.
- Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing food.