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In light of recent food recalls pertaining to frozen raw breaded poultry products, WDG Public Health and Health Canada wanted to share some important food safety tips to consider.

While breaded chicken nuggets, chicken burgers and strips may look like they’re pre-cooked, many frozen breaded poultry products are actually raw and need to be handled carefully and cooked thoroughly.

Raw meat and poultry can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. However, Salmonella and other harmful foodborne bacteria can be completely eliminated by cooking thoroughly. Following safe food handling practices can also reduce your chances of getting food poisoning.

Every year, roughly one in eight Canadians (or four million people) get sick with food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness. Many of these illnesses can be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. See a health care professional as soon as possible if you think you have a foodborne illness.

If you are preparing frozen raw breaded poultry products, take the following precautions to protect yourself and your family:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling raw poultry products.
  • Use a separate plate, cutting board, and utensils when handling raw poultry products to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. 
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked poultry products. Cook all frozen, stuffed, breaded or raw poultry pieces to a minimum internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 82°C (180°F).
  • Always follow the cooking and heating instructions on the package of any frozen raw breaded poultry product, including products labelled with phrases such as Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Due to uneven heating, microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded poultry products, including chicken nuggets, strips or burgers, is not recommended.

For more information:

Safe internal cooking temperatures

Poultry safety

Video: Cooking temperatures

Our offices and clinics will be closed on Wednesday, July 1 for the Canada Day holiday. Regular services resume Thursday, July 2.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has now confirmed 15 cases of mumps primarily in Guelph’s high school population just as students are about to start summer vacation or attend summer school.

Public Health is advising students that there is still an outbreak of mumps in the community.  Although the 15 confirmed cases centred on Bishop MacDonnell, John F. Ross and Our Lady of Lourdes high schools, Public Health continues to monitor suspect cases in other area high schools.

“We want students to fully participate in summer jobs, volunteering or school, but we also want to stop the outbreak of this potentially serious disease. Students who are off to summer jobs or volunteer opportunities should call and advise their family physician if they begin to develop symptoms, particularly if they are spending the summer around young children or someone with an underlying medical condition,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.  “If they are attending summer school, students need to be fully vaccinated or they may be excluded from attending class if there is another confirmed case linked to that school.”

Mumps was last confirmed in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in January 2010. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best form of defense against the disease.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a disease of the salivary glands. It is caused by a virus and can’t be treated. Mumps can cause serious illness and result in complications including orchitis (testicular inflammation), meningitis or hearing loss.

What are the signs and symptoms of mumps?

The symptoms of mumps may include:

  • Fever
  • Swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands (lower cheek area on either or both sides of the face)
  • Headache
  • Cold-like symptoms

How is it spread?

Mumps is spread by breathing in droplets that are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. It can be spread by direct contact with discharge from an infected person’s mouth, nose, and throat, or through direct contact with objects used by an infected person.

How long is someone able to spread disease?

A person can spread mumps from seven days before the start of symptoms until five days after symptoms appear. It usually takes 12 to 25 days (average 16-18 days) for symptoms to start after someone has been exposed.

What can you do?

  • Watch for signs and symptoms of mumps. If you develop symptoms, call your doctor.
  • Check your immunization record to see if you have had the mumps vaccine. Two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) are required. The first dose must have been given after your first birthday. If you require immunization please see your doctor or book an appointment with Public Health. Call 1-800-265-7293 extension 4134.

How to stop the spread of all germs:

  • Good handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol hand rub. This is most important before you prepare and eat food, and after you cough, sneeze, wipe a nose, or use the washroom.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not share food, drinks, toothbrushes, lip-care products, cigarettes, musical instruments with mouthpieces, or eating utensils with others. Sports teams should not share water bottles or mouthguards.
  • If you have symptoms of illness avoid direct saliva contact with others (e.g., kissing).

Additional Information:

There will be no Public Health programs, services or clinics (with the exception of evening clinics at the Chancellors Way location) on Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2015. All offices will be closed for a staff event.

Chancellors Way (Guelph) evening clinics beginning at 4:30pm or later will still operate.

Regular service hours resume Wednesday, Jun. 11.

For assistance, please call 1-800-265-7293.