Aug. 26, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - There have not been any confirmed cases of listeriosis in New Brunswick associated with the recent outbreak of the disease, Health Minister Michael Murphy said today.
"Public health is closely monitoring hospital laboratory results for any human cases of listeriosis, and so far there are no confirmed cases linked to the meat products," Murphy said. "I want to assure New Brunswickers that anything that can be done is being done to advise people of this outbreak and to monitor for the presence of listeriosis illness in our province."
Murphy said the province's public health officials are working closely with their federal counterparts as part of the national response to the listeriosis outbreak. The province's public health protection branch has worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) by contacting higher-risk institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, special care homes and day cares to ensure they are aware of the recall of meat products linked to the outbreak. The province's schools have been contacted by CFIA and the Department of Education.
Those at highest risk include pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Public health is also contacting the province's physicians to raise awareness of the disease and the outbreak. Anyone who feels ill should see his or her medical practitioner.
Meat products recalled by Maple Leaf Foods from its plant in Toronto have been linked to the listeriosis. CFIA has issued a public warning for all products produced at the plant and which carry the identifier Establishment 97B. About 200 products are included in the recall, most of which are retail products.
Consumers are advised to look for the code 97B, which can be found near the best before date on the product's package, and return those products or discard them. If there is any doubt about any ready-to-eat meat, it is best to throw it out, as it may be impossible to determine if it is a product that has been recalled, especially if the original packaging was thrown out.
For more information visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website,
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/2008/listeria080820qa-eng.php or the CFIA website, http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/recaltoce.shtml.
A fact sheet on listeriosis can be found at http://www.gnb.ca/0053/factsheets/pdf/listeriosis-e.pdf.
MEDIA CONTACT: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Health, 506-457-3513.