Death toll rises to 19 from listeriosis linked to Ontario plant

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TORONTO The number of people who have died from listeriosis linked to a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Ontario has reached 19.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the latest death occurred in Quebec. It did not release any details. Fourteen of the deaths previously reported have occurred in Ontario, two happened in B.C., and one each in Alberta and New Brunswick. The health agency says five other deaths are under investigation.

The Maple Leaf plant in Toronto where the Listeria bacterium was found embedded deep inside slicing equipment reopened last week after being closed Aug. 20.

Several class action suits are in the works as a result of the outbreak.

Listeriosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, commonly referred to as listeria.

Listeriosis is of concern particularly to the very young, the elderly, pregnant women and to persons with poor immune systems. Illness usually occurs from two to 30 days after consuming food contaminated with the bacteria, but can occur up to 90 days later.


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