Frozen chicken prod­ucts pose risk


The coun­try’s top pub­lic health doc­tors are warn­ing con­sumers about the risk of sal­mo­nella from frozen raw breaded chicken prod­ucts like nuggets, strips and burg­ers.

The chief med­i­cal of­fi­cers of health is­sued a joint state­ment Thurs­day say­ing most of these prod­ucts con­tain raw chicken and pose a health risk to any­one who han­dles, pre­pares or con­sumes them.

The state­ment says prod­ucts con­tain­ing raw chicken need to be han­dled care­fully and cooked to an in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture of at least 74 de­grees C be­fore they are safe to eat.

Con­sumers should also wash their hands be­fore and after han­dling these prod­ucts, as well as san­i­tiz­ing sur­faces, dishes and uten­sils used to pre­pare and serve them.

Hun­dreds of cases of sal­mo­nella in­fec­tion as­so­ci­ated with frozen raw breaded chicken prod­ucts have been re­ported over the last 16 months, due at least in part to im­proper cook­ing or han­dling.

Most people who be­come ill from sal­mo­nella will re­cover within a week. But for some people, in­fec­tion can lead to more se­vere ill­ness, hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, and in rare cases, death.

“For ev­ery lab­o­ra­to­rycon­firmed ill­ness re­ported, we know that there are dozens more un­re­ported ill­nesses in Canada,” the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial pub­lic health of­fi­cials write. “Dur­ing this same pe­riod, there have also been food-re­call warn­ings is­sued for seven dif­fer­ent frozen raw breaded chicken prod­ucts.”

Mean­while, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is work­ing with food man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers to re­duce sal­mo­nella in frozen raw breaded chicken prod­ucts pro­duced on or after April 1, 2019, to be­low de­tectable amounts, with the aim of re­duc­ing the risk of ill­ness.

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