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Salmonella outbreak from headcheese


July 16, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

July 16, 2010, Vancouver, B.C. – The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has issued a
warning about a salmonella outbreak involving the Freybe brand of
headcheese.

July 16, 2010, Vancouver, B.C. – The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has issued a
warning about a salmonella outbreak involving the Freybe brand of
headcheese.

The centre said Wednesday that in the past two weeks, 10 cases of
a rare strain of salmonella have been identified among B.C.
residents who apparently ate the cheese.

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Anyone who may have bought the cheese, which was distributed in
western Canada and the Yukon, is being urged to throw it out or
return it to the store where it was bought.

Epidemiologist Dr. Elini Galanis said most of the infected people
were elderly and about half of them needed to be hospitalized.

"There may be other people who also experienced symptoms, but
did not see their doctors, leaving potentially more unreported
cases," she said.

"If you purchased headcheese from mid-June to July 13 and are
uncertain if it is associated with this recall, please call the
store where it was purchased to identify the brand."

Symptoms associated with salmonella infection include stomach
cramps, diarrhea, nausea, fever and headache.

They occur six to 72 hours after someone has eaten contaminated
food and can last a few days to a week.

Headcheese is made from meat from the head of a pig and is
combined with gelatin and spices.

Langley, B.C.-based Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd. is voluntarily
recalling the cheese, which is produced by Brandt Meat Packers in
Mississauga, Ont.

However, the headcheese is sliced and packaged at deli counters
in various stores so consumers may not be aware of the brand they
bought.

Henning Freybe, chairman of the board for Freybe, said the cheese
was distributed to Thrifty Foods stores, the Overwaitea Food Group,
which includes Save-on Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Urban Fare and
Cooper's Foods, as well as smaller delis in western Canada and the
Yukon.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is working with health
authorities around the province and the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency to investigate other possible cases and the cause of the
contamination.

Freybe said that while the investigation is underway, the company
has also suspended distribution of Ham Suelze, the only other
product manufactured for it at the Mississauga facility.

Salmonella are naturally occurring bacteria found in the
intestines of animals, especially poultry, cattle and swine,
although meat, eggs, dairy and raw fruits and **>vegetables<** can also be
contaminated.

While most people recover without treatment others may become so
ill that they end up with bloodstream infection and severe
dehydration.

Young children, the elderly and people with week immune systems
are at highest risk of severe infection.