The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a national recall of President’s Choice brand Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets due to possible Salmonella contamination. The frozen, uncooked breaded cutlets are sold at Loblaws grocery chains across the country.
Canadian regulators began investigating the source of a Salmonella outbreak at the end of June when 12 people – living in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia – were sickened after consuming frozen chicken products. It took the agency two weeks to issue a recall for the suspected source of contamination: the President’s Choice Chicken Nuggets.
While no deaths have been reported, two of individuals infected with Salmonella were admitted to hospital. The CFIA is reportedly still investigating the outbreak and warns that additional products could be recalled.
The 800-gram boxes of chicken nuggets affected by the recall are stamped with the UPC number “0 60383 13171 5” and date code “2018 MR 15.” The Canadian officials are urging consumers to check their freezers for the recalled product, and dispose of them or return them to the store.
“Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick,” said the recall notice issued by the CFIA. “Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.”
According to a statement issued by Loblaw Companies Limited, the recalled boxes of chicken nuggets were sold before July 13, 2017. The company reports that the products have been removed from store shelves, including Loblaw-owned grocery chains like No Frills, Zehrs and Fortinos.
It’s estimated that 4 million Canadians are affected by a food-borne illness each year, according to the Government of Canada. Of this number, about 5 percent are associated with Salmonella infections.
“This outbreak is a reminder that frozen raw breaded chicken products contain raw poultry and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products,” said a Public Health Notice issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada. “Follow cooking instructions carefully and verify the internal temperature after cooking, as recommended, before consuming these products.”