Salmonella bacteriaThe Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis in eight provinces. To date, the source of this outbreak has not been identified, but the investigation is ongoing, and updates will be provided as new information becomes available. Currently, there are 34 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (6), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (16), Quebec (3) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 12 and Sept. 20, 2015. The majority of those sickened are female, with an average age of 41 years. Eight people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported. According to PHAC, the risk to Canadians is low. Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. Contaminated foods often come from animal sources, such as poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Illness can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation, and cooking practices are closely followed. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness and can get sick more easily than others. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria and can include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)