Seven cases of Listeria monocytogenes illness have been confirmed as of August 18th across three provinces in Canada, including one person in BC.

Out of those, 6 people have been hospitalized, and each incident has been linked to a recall of Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken that was issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on Sunday.

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The individuals contracted the illness after consuming the product between November 2017 and June 2019, and were between 51 and 97 years of age. 86% of the patients are female.

The collaborative outbreak investigation was initiated because of an increase of Listeria illnesses reported in June 2019.

Through the use of a laboratory method called whole genome sequencing, two Listeria illnesses from November 2017 were identified to have the same genetic strain as those that occurred between April and June 2019.

The source of the outbreak, Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken, was supplied to institutions (including cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes) where many of the individuals who became sick resided, or visited, before becoming ill.

See also: Canada-wide recall issued for two brands of ice cream sandwiches

CFIA advises that all recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.

The agency believes that more recent illnesses are likely yet to be reported due to the delay between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials.

(CFIA)

Symptoms of Listeria can manifest as early as 3 days after eating the contaminated food. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • constipation
  • muscle aches

In severe cases:

  • stiff neck
  • confusion
  • headache
  • loss of balance

In severe cases of the illness, people may die.