Monday, September 8, 2008

Quebec Health Officials Fear Listeriosis Outbreak Linked To Cheese Will Grow

From the Globe And Mail:

QUEBEC AND TORONTO — Public-health officials fear the listeriosis outbreak in Quebec linked to contaminated cheese could grow by as many as nine more cases from the 15 already reported.

The poor forecast kept the food-safety issue in the spotlight as the federal election campaign began yesterday.

Quebec's Ministry of Agriculture and Food said it had traced the source of the outbreak to two Quebec cheese producers on Saturday, but added that other cheese factories could be implicated as inspectors widened their search to include all of the province's 44 makers of raw-milk products.

"This outbreak is far from over. It is not behind us yet," warned Horatio Arruda, Ministry of Health director for the protection of public health.

"Out of the 15 reported cases, one person has died. There were four pregnant women who gave birth to premature babies. Two of the babies are being treated for listeriosis."

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