Sept. 16, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A case of listeriosis in New Brunswick has been confirmed by testing at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to be linked to the recall of food products from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.
The case involves an elderly person who lived in a nursing home and who died recently in hospital. Normal follow-up investigation was carried out by Public Health at the nursing home and at the hospital.
Specimens sent to the laboratory match the same strain of listeria associated with the current outbreak. This is the only confirmed case of listeriosis in New Brunswick since the national outbreak was first reported in mid-August.
Dr. Eilish Cleary, acting chief medical officer of health, said that Public Health in New Brunswick has been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada since the outbreak started.
"Together, we have notified hospitals, long-term-care facilities, schools and other higher-risk institutions with respect to the recall, and carried out verification checks to ensure that products were removed," said Cleary. "I would like to remind the public to be vigilant about products on the recall list, and to go through their fridges and freezers to remove and throw out any of these food items."
Some of the food items that have been recalled are stamped with EST 97B on the label. A complete list of recalled products is available at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/recaltoce.shtml.
Listeriosis is most commonly contracted from eating food contaminated with the listeria bacteria. Symptoms include persistent fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, cramps, muscle aches (especially in the back), diarrhea and/or stiff neck. Listeriosis is of concern particularly to the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, and to persons with poor immune systems. Illness from listeria usually occurs from two to 30 days after consuming food contaminated with the bacteria, but can occur up to 70 days later.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Health, 506-457-3522.