First it was tomatoes from the States with salmonella, then salmonella in Cilantro now its listeriosis in meat products! This last food scare is the worst yet. Quite a few people have actually died from food poisoning and the resulting infection.

The problem seems to originate from a Maple Leaf processing plant in Toronto. The ugly part is that not only has a lot of contaminated packaged food been distributed, the packages don’t all say they were made by Maple Leaf. As this food corporation has expanded and swallowed a good many other brands we also have products from companies like Schneiders, Sure Slice, Deli Gourmet and Burns Bites. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also recalled a number of Lucerne Foods sandwiches that are sold at Safeway and Mac. You can check their site for a full list of recalled products.

Though there are no reported cases here in Manitoba, I know for a fact that some brands of corned beef have been recalled here.

Contamination with Listeria monocytogenes is especially dangerous for pregnant women, elderly and people with a prior medical condition. Symptoms are: high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. These complaints can occur up to 70 days after consuming contaminated food, though the average incubation period is 30 days.

This rather long incubation period is probably the reason why the contaminated products could have been spread all accross Canada and were not caught untill a number of people died.

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