Canada Listeriosis Outbreak Claims 12th Victim in Ontario

By Frederic Tomesco

Source of Article:  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=aHQGyjTAgrKA&refer=canada

 

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- An outbreak of listeriosis that has been linked to contaminated meat from a Maple Leaf Foods Inc. plant in Toronto claimed its 12th victim as Canadian producers widened a two-week-old product recall.

The death of an Ontario resident yesterday was the latest attributed to the listeria bacterium, according to data on the Public Health Agency of Canada Web site. Seven other deaths across the country are under investigation and may be linked to the outbreak, the agency said. Ten of the 12 who died lived in Ontario, Canada's most populous province.

Maple Leaf, Canada's biggest food processor, said Aug. 27 it was to blame for the outbreak, adding that the country's food- inspection system bears no responsibility. The company closed the Toronto plant this month after samples of Sure Slice delicatessen meats tested positive for listeria, a bacterium that can lead to listeriosis.

``We will very likely see more cases linked to the outbreak, given the timeframes involved for symptoms to show up and testing to occur,'' Gerry Predy, Alberta's acting chief medical officer of health, said in a statement yesterday. Alberta on Aug. 30 confirmed that a woman died from listeriosis.

Closely held King Bean Wholesalers recalled four types of roast beef sandwiches on Aug. 30 that contain Maple Leaf meat and may be contaminated with the bacteria. The products were sold in British Columbia.

No illnesses associated with the consumption of these sandwiches have been reported, Surrey, British Columbia-based King Bean said.

More than 60

More than 60 products ranging from ham and turkey breast deli meats to sandwiches were recalled Aug. 29 and Aug. 30. Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Aug. 29 he expected other recalls as the focus shifted to clients of Maple Leaf Foods.

There are 38 confirmed cases of listeriosis across Canada, the public health agency said yesterday. Another 21 were under investigation.

Listeriosis can cause severe headaches, fever and nausea and is dangerous for infants, the elderly and pregnant women.

 

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