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Canadian Food Poisoning Outbreak Leaves 4 Dead

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Canadian health officials have linked Canada’s largest food
processor, Maple Leaf Foods, to a deadly bacterial outbreak that has killed four people and has sickened at least 21 others. Yesterday Maple Leaf Foods
expanded the recall of meat products that may possibly contain Listeria monocytogenes. The outbreak was first noted
last month when the Canadian health authorities began to see an increase in the
occurrence of listerosis and last week Maple Leaf Foods was named as the probable
source of the tainted meats.

Listeriosis is a rare and potentially fatal foodborne illness that
poses the greatest danger to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns and those
with depressed or weakened immune systems. The onset of listeriosis symptoms can
take as long as 70 days to surface after the contaminated product is consumed,
which makes likely guarantees that things will get worse before they get better
concerning this outbreak. Experts expect the number of suspected and confirmed
cases will continue to increase over the next several weeks.

People
with listeriosis can have fever, muscle aches and sometimes nausea or diarrhea,
according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If
the infection spreads to the nervous system, it can result in headache, stiff
neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions

Ontario’s acting chief medical officer of health, Dr. David
Williams, has advised the public not to consume any ready to eat meats whose
source is not easily identifiable. Several products have been recalled in
association with this outbreak. A full list of recalled products can be found
here.

Listeriosis can usually be effectively treated with a course
of antibiotics. If you experience the symptoms of listeriosis seek immediate
medical attention.