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3 dead in Canadian food poisoning outbreak

3 dead in Canadian food poisoning outbreak

Three people in Canada have died from a nationwide listeriosis outbreak which might be linked to tainted meat products, health officials said Friday.
The third death to be confirmed was that of a woman who lived in a retirement home in St. Catharines Ontario.
"In Ontario, there are three confirmed deaths at this point linked to the investigation, and another is still under investigation," Robert Clarke of the Public Health Agency of Canada told a news conference in Ottawa.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. It can be dangerous to the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea
Currently, there are 17 reported cases in Canada _ including the three deaths _ with the same strain of listeriosis: 13 in Ontario, two in British Columbia, one in Saskatchewan and one in Quebec.
The woman in St. Catharines died in early June, said a spokesman for the Niagara Region Health Authority.
An additional 16 samples from suspected cases are currently being tested to confirm if they are related to the outbreak, Clarke said: 12 from Ontario, one from Alberta, one from Saskatchewan and two from British Columbia.
Additional cases are under investigation in Quebec, Clarke said.
Officials announced Wednesday that an elderly woman from Ontario was the first fatality to be positively linked to the listeriosis outbreak. Earlier Friday, officials announced that another elderly woman, also from Ontario, had died from listeriosis.
"We have one confirmed case of Listeria that's associated with the provincial outbreak, and that case is deceased," said Chris Komorowski of Waterloo Public Health.
Food safety officials, meanwhile, are continuing their search for a possible connection between the 17 confirmed cases across Canada and the recall of nearly two dozen Maple Leaf products manufactured at a Toronto plant.
Officials said they have positively identified the bacteria in 18 food samples representing six different types of the meat products, but have yet to determine whether the meat is responsible for the outbreak. News on that front was expected as early as Saturday.
Health officials grappling with the outbreak have said they expect to see more cases of the disease.
While the cause of the contamination at the Toronto plant has yet to be determined, the plant was undergoing three separate sanitizations, all under the watch of a microbiologist and a sanitation expert.


Updated : 2021-08-01 08:21 GMT+08:00