Background information: reducing the risk of illness associated with frozen raw breaded chicken products

In May 2017, Government of Canada scientists began using a new technology called "whole genome sequencing" to help identify and respond to outbreaks. Since that time, federal, provincial and territorial health and food safety partners have investigated 17 national outbreaks linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products. In total, there have been 14 food products linked to these outbreak investigations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued food recall warnings for 13 products.

Since then, the CFIA, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been working to reduce the risk of illness associated with all poultry products that are packaged for retail sale.

In March 2018, the CFIA advised industry stakeholders that they would need to implement new measures at the manufacturing/processing level to reduce Salmonella to below a detectable amount in frozen raw breaded chicken products. This focuses the responsibility on to the poultry industry and represents a fundamental change to existing requirements for frozen raw breaded chicken products.

The CFIA provided industry with a 12-month period to review their processes and put in place controls that will accommodate the new requirements. These controls must be in place for frozen raw breaded chicken products produced as of April 1, 2019.

Even with the new measures in place, we want to remind Canadians that they must store, prepare and cook all breaded poultry products properly to prevent illness. This includes following package directions and cooking chicken properly to kill bacteria like Salmonella.

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