Frozen and raw breaded chicken products are the culprits behind 44 recent cases of Salmonella illness in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, says the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in a notice it issued Sunday morning.
The 44 cases happened in Ontario (28), Quebec (12), Nova Scotia (2) and Newfoundland and Labrador (2). Twelve people were hospitalized as a result. No deaths have been reported.
The individuals became sick between Feb. 7 and May 23.
When working with these products, the agency is advising people to take certain precautions, such as cooking these products to an internal temperature of at least 165 F. As well, it is recommending people do not use the microwave to cook these products because of uneven heating. People should also wash their hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling the products.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically start within six hours to three days after exposure to a contaminated product, says PHAC. Symptoms typically last four to seven days and include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Most people suffering from a Salmonella infection will not require medical care, but in severe cases, hospitalization may be needed.