The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has linked No Name brand chicken burgers to a recent outbreak of Salmonella infection. The packages, which were removed from store shelves in June, have a best before date of February 6, 2019 and were sold in 1 kilogram packages throughout Canada, including multiple locations in Yukon.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria and last for four to seven days. Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. In healthy individuals, treatment is often not required. However, in some cases severe illness and hospitalization may occur. People who are experiencing symptoms or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care provider if they suspect they may have Salmonella infection. Individuals who are infected can spread the bacteria to others for up to several weeks.
Recommended safe cooking practices include:
- Thoroughly cook all frozen raw breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F).
- Avoid microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded chicken products, such as chicken pieces, strips, burgers or fries because of possible uneven heating, which may not kill all bacteria
- Always follow the cooking instructions on the package, including for products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook or Oven Ready.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling frozen raw breaded chicken products.
- Use a separate plate, cutting board and utensils when handling frozen raw breaded chicken products to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
There are currently multiple recalls and outbreaks related to frozen raw breaded chicken products. Please see Health Canada website for more information related to this outbreak and other recalls.
Across Canada, there have been many illnesses linked to this outbreak, including illness in Yukon. I encourage Yukoners to look in their freezers to see if they purchased these No Name chicken burgers, and if you did, you are advised to place them in a plastic bag and dispose of them in the garbage or return the package to the store where it was purchased. If you do not have the original packaging and are unsure if it is a recalled product, throw it out to be safe. Even though these types of frozen chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked, they contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.
Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley