As of December 3rd, 2019 the popular brand President’s Choice coleslaw, is being recalled by The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) due to possible salmonella contamination. This action is being taken specifically for packaging with a best before date of December 4th, 2019 with the following codes:  

  • Best Before 2019 DE 04 – B318005  
  • Best Before 2019 DE 04 – B318006  

For size 397 g and UPC 0 60383 22267 3. 

This widely popular coleslaw is sold in various outlets across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and most likely in different areas of the nation as well. 

Consumers are advised to either return the recalled items back to the store where they made the purchase or to dispose them off. Consumers who are unsure about whether or not the product they bought is contaminated are advised to contact the retailer. 

The shocking thing is, one would expect contaminated food to smell rotten, taste funny or turn a funky colour. However, salmonella food contamination has no signs; it looks and smells like regular fresh coleslaw should, which makes it even harder for consumers to identify if the salad is even infected. 

Unfortunately, individuals with weak immune systems, elderly, pregnant women and young children are at a much greater risk of falling prey to infection. On the other hand, healthy individuals can experience short-term symptoms, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. 

The good news is that no illnesses have been reported so far in Canada. But in order to curtail the outbreak, the CFIA is taking elaborate measures to conduct an in-depth food safety investigation. Therefore, most likely, more products will be recalled soon. 

What is Salmonella? 

The infection salmonellosis is more popularly known as salmonella, which is actually the name of the bacteria that causes the infection.  

How Does Salmonella Spread? 

This infection affects the intestinal tract, it resides within the intestines of animals, birds and even humans and is shed through the secretion of feces. However, humans mostly get infected by it through contaminated food and water. 

Here are some of the most common ways salmonella bacteria spreads: 

Eating Eggs: Though most people may think an egg’s shell will protect it from getting contaminated, however, this is far from the truth. An already infected chicken is likely to produce eggs which are also contaminated. Even though most of us prefer our eggs fried, boiled or poached, raw eggs are consumed by fitness enthusiasts and in condiments such as hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise. Raw eggs are also present in eggnogs, homemade ice creams and cookie doughs. However, if you must consume raw eggs, make sure they are pasteurized. 

Munching on Fresh Veggies and Fruits: As healthy as fresh produce is, there is a high probability of imported products that are washed down with salmonella contaminated water. That’s not all, contamination can also occur within your home, in your own kitchen! Juices from poultry and raw meat can merge and mix with other uncooked foods such as salads, thereby increasing chances of the salmonella outbreak. 

Uncooked Seafood, Poultry and Meat: During the butchering process, poultry and raw meat might come into contact with feces of the carcass, thereby leading to contamination. If you think seafood is a safer option, think again. Unfortunately, seafood harvested from contaminated waters can also be infected with salmonella.  

Furthermore, food can also get contaminated if you do not wash hands properly prior to cooking. Moreover, no matter what kind of meat you cook, take the time to cook it all the way through, as undercooked or raw meat and poultry can lead to the development of salmonella. 

Farmers beware, this dangerous infection can also spread by touching infected animals, especially reptiles and birds. The risk increases even more if you were to put your fingers in their mouth. 

What Are the Salmonella Poisoning Symptoms? 

Salmonella symptoms are not as obvious as one might think. However, infected individuals are likely to show signs within the first eight to 72 hours. 

Salmonella poisoning symptoms include the following: 

  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Blood in stool 
  • Chills 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 

These symptoms can lead to severe dehydration. The condition can aggravate if the infection spreads beyond the intestines. Symptoms of the infection typically last between two to seven days, however, diarrhea may last up to 10 days. 

You can take the best digestive enzyme supplements to ease diarrhea symptoms. Digestive health supplements contain potent ingredients that relieve digestive spasms such as nausea, indigestion, flatulence, dyspepsia and diarrhea. Before taking any medication, we recommend visiting your healthcare practitioner to ensure you get the best medical advice. 

Why is Salmonella Outbreak Dangerous? 

Though salmonella outbreak is not dangerous, it can aggravate drastically into complications for certain individuals such as young children, infants, pregnant women, transplant recipients and those with a weakened immune system. 

The following are some complications to be wary of: 

How Salmonella Affects the Body? 

Once salmonella enters the bloodstream, it can infect the tissues located near the brain and spinal cord, the bone marrow and bones, the lining of blood vessels, heart and valves. 

Increased Dehydration 

Due to severe diarrhea patients might suffer from a dry tongue and mouth, not enough urine and sunken eyes. 

The Development of Reactive Arthritis 

Individuals infected with salmonella have a higher probability of developing reactive arthritis, also called Reiter’s Syndrome. This condition leads to eye irritation, painful joints and pain while passing urine. 

How Salmonella Can Be Prevented? 

While the Salmonella outbreak in Canada is alarming, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working hard to curtail it from further spreading. They have devised a Salmonella Action Plan which requires the updation of poultry slaughtering inspection system and improved testing and sampling of meat and poultry. 

You can take the following measures to prevent bacteria from spreading: 

  • Do not eat undercooked meat. 
  • Individuals who cook should wash hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and cook meat thoroughly. 
  • Adults providing care for elderlies and infants should wash their hands properly, especially after changing diapers. 
  • As a general rule, hands should be washed after using the toilet. 
  • Furthermore, hands should also be adequately washed after touching birds or reptiles as well as after cleaning pet feces. 
  • Ensure kitchen surfaces are clean before preparing food. 
  • Avoid eating barely cooked or raw eggs. 
  • Make sure to refrigerate food correctly, before and after cooking. 
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits properly. If possible, peel and consume. 
  • After playing with pets, touching their bed or toys, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water. 

Preventative Measures for Cross-Contamination 

To eliminate the chances of spreading Salmonella symptoms through cross-contamination, you can take the following measures: 

  • Store seafood, raw meat and poultry in a completely separate compartment from other foods in your refrigerator. 
  • Do not serve cooked meat in an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat. 
  • Either use separate knives and cutting boards or wash utensils thoroughly every time you interchange between cutting raw meat and vegetables.