Ontario sees spike in number of cases of listeriosis since January

March 16, 2010 in Food Safety, Nutrition Topics in the News

Ontario sees spike in number of cases of listeriosis since January
Health officials report that Ontario has seen a spike in the number of cases of listeriosis, a type of food borne illness, since January but say preliminary test results show the five listeriosis deaths in Ontario so far this year are not connected to the recent recall of deli meats from Siena Foods.

The Ministry of Health says there is no food consumption history or lab data supporting a link to the Siena products.

It's reported that out of fourteen listeriosis cases documented since January in Ontario, including the five deaths, only two appear to have come from Siena Foods.

While officials continue to investigate the cause of the food borne illness, Sienna Foods is facing a class action lawsuit in light of the recent recall.

As recent as this weekend, the CFIA recalled certain Siena brand dried meat products, including Coppa, Prosciuttini and Prosciuttini Hot over safety concerns. The manufacturer, Siena Foods Ltd., Toronto, ON, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

For more information on the recall, click here.

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