Results confirm link between listeriosis and Maple Leaf

by Editor
Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Public Health Agency of Canada has received laboratory results from Health Canada that establish a link between meat products recalled by Maple Leaf Foods and an outbreak of listeriosis. To date, 21 cases of listeriosis have been confirmed, and the same strain has been detected in four people who have died. A further 30 cases remain under investigation.

The investigation into the cause of the outbreak is complex, said The Public Health Agency of Canada. Results of genetic testing from three samples of the products recalled by Maple Leaf Foods showed that two tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria. Test results for the third product were a close match to the outbreak strain, but showed a slight variance. The investigation is not complete. Test results on additional food samples are expected .

Because the onset of symptoms of listeriosis can occur up to 70 days after contaminated food is consumed, it is expected that the number of confirmed and suspected cases will continue to increase over the next several weeks. Up-to-date information on the number of cases in the outbreak is available on the website of the Public Health Agency of Canada.