Salmonella outbreaks linked to undercooked breaded chicken

(NC) One of the most common causes of food poisoning making headlines recently, is Salmonella contamination. Salmonella bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive system and are something you definitely want to avoid.

One source of Salmonella you may not know about that has been making many Canadians sick with food poisoning is frozen raw breaded chicken products. This includes family favourites like chicken nuggets, strips, and fingers, along with chicken burgers, chicken fries and popcorn chicken. While some frozen breaded chicken products are pre-cooked, many are raw. 

Over the past year and a half, public health officials across the country have detected hundreds of confirmed cases of illness linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products. People of all ages have become sick, not just those with compromised immune systems.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued food recall warnings for several different products linked to these illnesses.

“Across Canada in 2018, we saw hundreds of illnesses among Canadians of all ages associated with frozen raw breaded chicken contaminated with Salmonella, due at least in part to inadequate cooking and handling. Some people don’t realize these products are raw – they look cooked,” explains Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. “The only way to know for sure is to cook products thoroughly according to package instructions.”

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to always cook these products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F).

Public health officials are also warning people to treat frozen raw breaded chicken products with as much care and safe handling as they would raw chicken. Wash your hands, serving dishes, kitchen surfaces and utensils thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling these products.

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