Listeriosis Outbreak In Ontario

    Chief Medical Officer Of Health Advises Caution On Deli Meat Food Recall

    TORONTO, Aug. 20 /CNW/ -


    Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising the public that
there is an outbreak of Listeriosis in the province.
    Listeriosis is a rare but potentially serious food-borne illness that can
severely affect the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with weakened
immune systems. It is caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
    In July 2008, routine surveillance conducted by the Ministry detected a
marked increase in cases of Listeriosis being reported by Ontario health
    As of yesterday, there have been 29 cases associated with the outbreak
across 17 health units. Of these, 13 are confirmed cases, and the rest are
probable and suspect cases which are under investigation by the local health
units. Outbreak associated cases of Listeriosis have also been reported in
British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec. Ontario is working with the Public
Health Agency of Canada and the other provinces in the investigation.


    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Maple Leaf Consumer Foods
are warning the public through their standard food recall system not to serve
or consume specified lots of ready-to-eat deli meats because of possible
contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. These products have been
distributed primarily to food service institutions such as restaurants,
hospitals and nursing homes. A complete list of the products affected by the
recall is available on the CFIA website.
    The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has asked all public health
units to contact hospitals, long-term care facilities and daycare centres to
ensure these products are not served or consumed.


    "I strongly advise the public, especially those at high risk for
Listeriosis, such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with weak immune
systems, to make sure they avoid consuming these products," said Dr. David C.
Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. "I have also asked all
public health units to advise emergency rooms in their jurisdictions to be on
alert for cases. All suspect and confirmed cases of Listeriosis must be
reported immediately to local public health units and in turn to the Ministry
within one business day of notification of report."


    -   Listeriosis is a reportable disease under Ontario Regulation 569 of
        the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

    -   The incubation period for Listeriosis is from three to seventy days
        with an average incubation period of three weeks.


    Find out more about this recall and other CFIA consumer food recalls

    Find out more about Listeriosis online

    Contact your local public health unit.

    For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Mark Nesbitt, Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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