Have a summer trip planned to visit Canada? The USDA has some news you may want to hear.
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Over 100,000 pounds of chicken products set to be served at Canadian restaurants were recalled due to suspicion of Listeria contamination, according to U.S. and Canadian public health and food safety officials.
On Tuesday, the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Inspection Services released a statement detailing the suspected outbreak, announcing that 135,810 pounds of Tip Top Poultry Inc. chicken may have been adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, which is an infection that tends to affect people with weakened immune systems.
Listeria causes the likes of headaches, muscle aches, fevers, convulsions, loss of balance and gastrointestinal issues, with the infection being serious enough to cause miscarriages in pregnant women if not treated with antibiotics per the USDA.
The Rockmart, Ga.-based company had produced the frozen, diced chicken back in January before shipping it to restaurants and hotels nationwide when a sample of the product tested positive for Listeria on August 17.
Health officials expressed concern over the nature of the Listeria contamination, as the restaurants and hotels where the poultry was shipped to may still be in those institution’s freezers.
“Institutions who have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” USDA’s statement read.
The chicken product was distributed to restaurants and hotels in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, and may have been distributed to other Canadian provinces as well, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Thus far, six people have been hospitalized, with those infected ranging in age from 51 to 97-years-old. Listeria is most often spread through raw or undercooked meat, poultry and fish, the Canadian health agency reports.
An investigation into the Listeria contamination is still ongoing, according to the agency.