Fifth Alberta listeriosis case probed for Maple Leaf links


Emily Senger,

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008


Source of Article:

EDMONTON - Another case of listeriosis in Alberta is being tested for links to the strain of the Listeria bacteria that prompted a massive recall of Maple Leaf deli meats last week.

The latest case is not new, but is rather a previous case that is being re-examined, said Alberta Health spokesman John Tuckwell.

This brings the total number of cases currently under investigation in Alberta to five, including two deaths.

Tuckwell said he expects the number of cases the province tests for links to the outbreak strain of bacteria will increase as officials re-examine previous cases.

"We will see, probably, some more numbers come in," Tuckwell said.

A total of five deaths nationally have been linked to the strain, and an additional 10 deaths are still under investigation.  

On Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada changed the number of confirmed deaths linked to the strain from six to five, stating that one of the deaths previously linked to the strain was being re-examined.

A blood sample from the latest Alberta case is being sent to a federal lab for further testing and results should be available in about two weeks, Tuckwell said.

The results of the other four Alberta tests should be made public next week, he said.

Meanwhile, two more products sold at Costco stores across the country have been added to the growing list of recalled Maple Leaf deli meat products, which could be contaminated with a potentially fatal bacteria.

Deli meat used on the Kirkland Signature Croissant Platter and the Kirkland Signature Meat and Cheese Platter may have come into contact with listeria in the Toronto Maple Leaf plant.

Costco pulled the platters off store shelves on Aug. 24, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency just issued a formal recall today, said Costco spokesman Ron Damiani.

The two platters contained Kirkland Smoked Pastrami Beef, which was one of 220 products recalled on Sunday.



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