In May 2014 Public Health Ontario (PHO) began investigating a Salmonella outbreak linked to the consumption of various chia seed products. PHO worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, local public health units, and American public health partners to support an investigation led by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The outbreak was declared over July 29, 2014.
The CFIA issued a food recall warning for various chia seed products due to possible Salmonella contamination. Similar chia seed products were also recalled in the United States.
Sixty-three cases in Canada and 31 cases in the United States were linked to this outbreak. Onset dates for the Ontario outbreak-confirmed cases ranged from December 8, 2013 to June 22, 2014.
Ten serotypes of Salmonella were found in chia products: Salmonella Newport, S. Hartford, S. Oranienburg, S. Saintpaul, S. Sandiego, S. Carrau, S. Gaminara, S. subspecies enterica (I) 6,7:b:-, S. subspecies enterica (II) 48:z10:[1,5], and S. Freetown.
Thirty-five outbreak-confirmed cases were reported in 15 different Ontario public health units:
Outbreak-confirmed cases of S. Newport, S. Hartford, S. Oranienburg, and S. Saintpaul by month:
Ontario, December 1, 2013 – July 29, 2014 (n = 35)
*Specimen collection dates for May 1, 2014 S. Oranienburg and June 11, 2014 S. Hartford cases.
Data source: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) database, extracted by Public Health Ontario [2014/07/31].
Related links and information: