A Salmonella Reading outbreak in Canada has caused 110 people to become ill as of October 1, according to an update from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Of those cases, 32 people were hospitalized and one person died.
PHAC is collaborating with provincial and territorial public health agencies, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to investigate the outbreak.
The findings of the investigation to date have identified exposure to raw turkey and raw chicken products as the likely source. Many of the people who became ill reported eating different types of turkey and chicken products before getting sick.
Of the people affected by the Salmonella outbreak, 36 were from Alberta, 26 were from British Columbia, 24 were from Manitoba, eight were from Saskatchewan, seven were from Ontario, six were from Nunavut, and there was one case each in Quebec, New Brunswick and the Northwest Teritorries. An equal number of males and females were affected, while the patients ranged from infants to a 96-year-old.
Through the use of a laboratory method called whole genome sequencing, some Salmonella illnesses dating back to 2017 were identified to have the same genetic strain as the illnesses that occurred in late 2018. More than half of the illnesses under investigation occurred between October 2018 and August 2019.
It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because there is a period of time between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. This period of time is called the case reporting delay. In national Salmonella outbreak investigations, the case reporting delay is usually between 5 and 6 weeks.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously investigated similar Salmonella illnesses in several states that were linked to raw turkey exposure. There were some turkey products recalled in the U.S. that were associated with that outbreak. These products were not imported or distributed in the Canadian marketplace. The U.S. investigation was closed in April 2019.