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Sausage recall expanded second time amidst Salmonella outbreak

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Officials have expanded a sausage recall for a second time in relation to an investigation into a Salmonella Litchfield outbreak in Canada. A dozen people have been confirmed infected by the relatively rare strain of the pathogen.

The Nov. 5 recall expansion adds two Filicetti brand products to the previous recalls on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17. The recalls involve sausages sold under three different brands — Filicetti, Longo’s and Venetian. Filicetti Foods Inc. reported distributing the products, in various combinations, in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Public health officials and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are concerned people may have unused portions of the recalled sausage in their homes. The newly recalled products are listed here.

“Check to see if you have any recalled ready-to-eat dry cured sausage products in your home. If you do, do not eat them,” the recall notice advises. “Throw recalled products out immediately and properly wash and sanitize any containers that were used to store these products before using them again. If you have any ready-to-eat dry cured sausage products without the original packaging and are unsure if these products are included in this advice, throw them out just to be safe.” 

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is reporting that laboratory tests have confirmed the outbreak strain of Salmonella Litchfield in a sample of the recalled sausage. Confirmed outbreak patients told investigators they had eaten sausage from Filicetti before they became ill. The investigation is ongoing and involves both PHAC and the CFIA.

“The collaborative outbreak investigation was initiated because of an increase of Salmonella Litchfield illnesses being reported. This is a rare strain of Salmonella not commonly seen in Canada,” according to the public health outbreak announcement on Oct. 23.

“On Oct. 16, the CFIA issued a food recall warning for various ready-to-eat dry sausage products that tested positive for Salmonella, including Filicetti brand Italian Style mild, dry, cured sausage.”

Public health officials have not yet posted an outbreak update. As of the Oct. 23 announcement, 12 people have been confirmed infected. Two are from Quebec and the other 10 are from Ontario. The patients became sick between May and September. One person had to be admitted to a hospital because of severe symptoms. No deaths have been reported. The people who became ill are between 4 and 81 years of age.

It is likely that additional outbreak victims will be identified because of the lag time between when a person becomes sick and when federal officials update the tally. The process of diagnosis, testing, confirmation testing, reporting to local authorities, and then reporting to federal officials can take five or more weeks, according to the public health notice.

About Salmonella infections
Food that is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized. 

Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.

Related recalls

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