Health authorities in Ontario have confirmed 13 cases of listeriosis - a food-borne illness caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes - stemming from processed meats produced by a Maple Leaf plant in Toronto.
Maple Leaf Foods Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are voluntarily expanding a recall of certain ready-to-eat packaged meat products and are warning people not to serve or consume the products as they may contain the harmful bacterium.
Products included in the recall are: Schneider's Deli Shaved Corn Beef, Schneider's Deli Shaved Smoked Meat, Schneider's Deli Shaved Smoked Ham, and Schneider's Deli Shaved Smoked Turkey Breast.
Nursing homes, deli counters, and restaurants, including McDonald's and Mr. Sub, are among the establishments where these meat products were distributed.
According to Ontario's acting chief medical officer, the number of cases of listeriosis could grow as the disease has an incubation period of three to seven days and reports from health units across the province are just starting to be submitted.
Listeriosis causes fever, muscle aches, a stiff neck, and some gastrointestinal problems like nausea or diarrhea. A blood test or spinal fluid test is used to diagnosis the disease which can then be treated with antibiotics.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. To reduce the risk of getting listeriosis, avoid eating hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot, and consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
For a full list of the recalled items visit http://www.mapleleaf.com/.
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